Hunger in America Continues to Spread
Posted by paradox
Last Halloween truly morbid news creeped across the wires that the number of US families surveyed “worried that they couldn't afford to buy food” rose for the third year in a row, with 3.8 million families skipping meals ‘cause they’re broke.
I rarely indulge in fantasy, but the fairytales of this news somehow becoming national headlines and an emergency priority for our political leaders to urgently fix simply will not go away in my wandering moments.
As a writer I’m supposed to come up with a new angle of available fact with pithy prose to pierce the consciousness of the reader. I dream those headlines of hunger because I don’t have a clue as to change even the slightest iota of American consciousness over this problem. Our political leaders do not care, our media does not care, and the lobbyists with cash do not care, so the problem will just get worse.
It causes a sorrow and pain I cannot express with words. For the incredibly wealthy United States to harbor so many hungry citizens—especially children—is so far beyond outrageous and causes us so many problems it is inexcusable to have the situation become worse year after year with no will to fix it.
To know hunger is to dread a knifing ache of want at any time, the only certainty the fact that the blade will flash and cut many times each day. Every day. It robs the mind of any ability to reason, so much effort is required to stay together and functional. Worst of all is the humiliation of failure—to ache in the midst of such abundant wealth of food surely must be evidence of failure. Just an inevitable reject of America, deserving of this fate for foolish past mistakes.
Some grow numb and withdraw. Others seethe and explode. Most muddle along in the middle as best as they can until things hopefully change. For the children there is no second chance—their brains and bodies will be forever stunted, their consciousness permanently robbed of the American Dream.
It’s been written a million times by far better writers than I, and my own puny words in the flood of pleading text will not change the reality for the American hungry tonight.
Still, 10 days after the news broke the post will go up and we will do our duty, for our own dignity as Democrats is worth maintaining. Please contact your representatives urging them to alleviate the hunger problem in America with the most expedient measures available.
The Catholic and Episcopal churches know. If one ever wants to snicker at the faithful—there is ample reason to do so—at least remember they do tangible good work too. If anyone knows of any Protestant American churches toiling for the poor, please contact me. I have an extremely low opinion of American Protestants right now (the fundys bug me) and my faith could surely use the good news. At any rate, helping these churches is a good thing.
The incomparable Natasha at Pacific Views directed me to my annual duty to a food bank this year, but today I gave to my local chapter in Santa Clara too. That’s a cool site—they have a search engine to find your local food bank.
[The last thing I would want to do is appear to be some sanctimonious do-gooder. I have two words for the concept of 10% tithing: dream…on.]
Work and pray for Democratic victory in 2004. A hundred things can be done to work on this problem, but none of them can begin until that victory occurs.