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The incomes of typical Americans rose in 2015 by 5.2 percent, the first significant boost to middle-class pay since the end of the Great Recession, the Census Bureau reported on Tuesday morning. There were 43.1 Americans in poverty on the year, 3.5 million fewer than in 2014. The numbers, from the government's annual report on income, poverty and health insurance, suggest the recovery from recession is finally beginning to lift the fortunes of large swaths of American workers and families. Last week, the Agriculture Department released its annual data on hunger in the United States, showing that food insecurity declined substantially last year for the first time since the recession.

Thank you for highlighting the importance of addressing food insecurity among Maryland's children ("Parent tackles 'food insecurity' at Towson High," Nov. 28). I am truly inspired by the work of Cheri Pegues and Food for Thought, especially given my personal experience as a child who relied on free meals at school growing up — and standing in the back of the lunch line so no one would notice I never paid.

This charitable work is so important, but it will simply never compare to the benefit Maryland children and families stand to gain by protecting and strengthening the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) also known as "food stamps." I urge Maryland's representatives in Congress to fight fiercely to protect SNAP from any further cuts for the duration of the Donald Trump administration.

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Jami-Lin Williams, Baltimore

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