Dec 102007

I came across an article at the Christian Science Monitor on-line today about hunger in America. I spent some evenings working in the homeless shelter in Winston-Salem some years ago, and have, as a result of that experience, developed some perspective on the problems of poverty and homelessness in America. I wish I had some solutions, but I don’t…just a sense of what the world is really like.

The CS Monitor story talks about some 35.5 million Americans being “food insecure.” The problem is, there’s no real standard definition of of hunger and/or food insecurity, so the problem is most likely much bigger than this. Surveys among school nutritionists in Appalachia show that, in many districts, children return from Summer weighing 10% less than when school let out.

“Being hungry is a subtle, personal, chaotic, unpredictable, but often systematic experience,” where welfare policies may provide a meal but don’t go far enough to help poor Americans rise above welfare says Amy Glasmeier, director of Penn State’s Center for Policy Research on Energy, Environment and Community Well-being in University Park, Pa.

Things aren’t great in America, and I am afraid they are going to get worse before they get better, but we are still a land of plenty, and a land where the Krazy Kristian Kooks try daily to convince us that we are a nation founded on Christian principles. I hate to tell them, but in land still as wealthy as America, it should shame us all that there are people who go hungry in America. As Charles Darwin said, “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.”

My sisters have already asked what I’d like for Christmas. I really do believe I have too much stuff already. I think I will seriously ask them to make a donation in my name to a food bank. That would be a great gift this Christmas.

Related Story:
I’m Not Sure I Was Meant to Be Here

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