There's no longer the idea that if you're living in the US, there's a floor you shouldn't be able to fall below - that you have some sort of economic rights, a right to food, which is so fundamental to being able to live. What you have is a shift towards those being things that have to be earned through work. What happens is employers have much more power in defining who's a citizen and who's not. People who don't have employment fall out of the compact of citizenship, of having food on the table, of having some modicum of being able to live a life.
Anthropologist Maggie Dickinson examines the intersections of hunger, work and the collapsing US welfare state - as the government pushes work requirements for social programs, food assistance subsidizes low-wage jobs, empowers the profits of capital over the lives of workers, and entrenches deep poverty across society.
Maggie is author of Feeding the Crisis: Care and Abandonment in America's Food Safety Net from University of California Press.