29 June 2009

Hunger In America - Shame On Us!

"It's really very simple, Governor. When people are hungry they die. So spare me your politics and tell me what you need and how you're going to get it to these people.”...Bob Geldof

More than 36-million Americans struggle with hunger including those who suffer from outright hunger and those who face "food insecurity" (literally do not know from where their next meal will come).

Some would have you believe that the problem is merely an adjunct of homelessness and a problem suffered by drug addicts and social misfits as the rabidly rediculous and insanely reactionary right wing would like us to believe. Well understand this; 40% of those suffering from hunger are employed, 9-million are children and 7-million are older Americans.

Last year 41% percent of households served by food banks, soup kitchens and other food assistance groups reported having to choose between buying food and paying for utilities or heat. More than one-third had to choose between food and paying the mortgage or rent.

With the current economic meltdown the problem grows on a daily basis far out stripping the abilities and resources of food banks, soup kitchens,shelters, religious organizations and other volunteers. Such a situation calls for immediate federal action to expand the food stamp program, to encourage food processors and manufacturers to donate to food banks and other agencies, and immediately increasing the minimum wage and intiating jobs and work programs so that no "working" person or family lives at poverty level.

The question also emerges, have we lost our compassion and ability to feel shame?

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