I was standing at the entrance to my walk-in food pantry yesterday. Shelves of bottled and canned juice, canned soup, beans, condiments, sugar, flour, chips, crackers, and the list could go on for a few pages. Of course, no food pantry is complete without a few boxes of Walkers Shortbread, the best shortbread on earth.
Next I looked in the 20.3-cubic-foot freezer which was packed with frozen fruit, vegetables, nuts, breads, etc. My 20.9-cubic-foot refrigerator was packed as well with all the essentials for proper nutrition and to sustain life.
It got me to thinking—why did I have so much food stuff on hand? If I had been snowed in for several months, I would still have food left over.
From a psychological perspective the answer is simple: growing up, food was in short supply because the adults had a difficult time finding honest work. Jobs were scarce. Going to bed hungry was a reality for us children.
Adults will do what they must to provide for their children and themselves. Bad checks were written to buy food; a can of sardines were placed under the free meat bones from the butcher for the dogs; standing in long lines with monthly allotments from the government of cheese, powdered milk, white beans, oatmeal, etc. Sometimes, there was a large box of raisins.
Our maternal grandmother, like she did with her mother and sister in the Great Depression, roamed the country side for fresh greens. I ate a lot of greens growing up. White beans still leave a bad taste in my mouth, even though I won’t eat them.
When I was about 10, things changed for my family. Honest work brought a weekly amount of food. Friday night was special because we had hot dogs and chili with dessert. We did not have an abundance of food, just enough for the week, but it was more than sufficient since at school we had a good lunch and plenty of milk.
So, when we talk about hunger in America, it is not an abstract concept to me. I experienced it growing up, and I know how it feels to go hungry.
In your communities there are neighbors who are hungry. There are children who are struggling with overwhelming odds to break a cycle of poverty and obtain an education. Proper nutrition is essential for a child. It is the foundation on which the adult life is built.
Do what you can. Food banks, shelters and religious aid organizations need money as well as other donations year around. With money they can buy large quantities of food stuff from vendors.
Look about you at your lifestyle and possessions. And remember this one simple rule of the cosmos.
All you have will remain after you have departed this life. Your legacy will be what you did to help your fellow travellers on this planet traversing the cosmos.
G. D. Williams © 2011
TOP NEWS NEW ZEALAND
Announcing the findings at a Thursday news conference in Washington, D. C., Escarra said that hunger in America is “closer than one might think.” Talking about the repercussions of domestic hunger, Escarra added that not only does it impair children’s learning ability, but it also affects the productivity of the country’s work force, and threatens the prosperity of the nation.
With unemployment further worsening the domestic hunger scenario, Feeding America’s food-bank network is now feeding 37 million people, as against 25 million in 2006.
CHILD HUNGER ENDS HERE REPORT
Child Hunger Ends Here: A Special Report” hosted by NBC’s Al Roker with Natalie Morales highlights the reality of hunger in America and how it negatively affects children. The 30-minute, educational special was sponsored by ConAgra Foods as part of its Child Hunger Ends Here campaign.
Learn more at http://www.childhungerendshere.com/Html/EnterCode.html
FACES OF HUNGER—MY GENERATION
HUNGER IN AMERICA 2010
CBS NEWS: CHILDHOOD HUNGER IN AMERICA
As a result of the devastating recession, almost 17 million children in the U.S. are hungry. Seth Doane revisits a struggling family we first met last year.
THE HUFFINGTON POST
Here in America, 17 million children face hunger. That is one in four. Studies show that children who experience hunger face significant stress and challenges that can have a lasting effect on their physical, cognitive and behavioral development. From birth to age 3, chronic under-nutrition is most harmful because proper nourishment is essential to support this critical period of rapid growth. Hunger also affects a child’s ability to learn and perform well at school. Children experiencing hunger come to school ill-prepared to learn and are more likely to have trouble focusing in class.