The above photograph comes from the website of www.feedingamerica.org–engaged in running food banks and school pantries across the country.
It is a reminder that while we fixate on certain numbers–96,000 jobs created, 8.1 unemployment; President Obama, according to Gallup got a bounce, now 49-44 in his favor–that missing almost entirely from the current conversation are poor people: our kids, our elderly, and everyone in-between who are, on any given day, hungry.
On the heels of the DNC and RNC, the US Agriculture Dept released the Food Insecurity numbers: they remain at sky-high levels, with 20 per cent of families with children food insecure (skipping meals, not enough food on the table.) That number for African American families is 29.2 percent. Are we not scandalized? Will we not find a way to fix this very essential problem?
I thought about the local soup kitchens in New York City: it’s not who think showing up for a hot meal. When I’ve volunteered, I’ve seen every ethnicity, every age, including people wearing their work uniforms, passing through the on the lines–individually and whole families.
Let’s think hard about the people behind these hunger “statistics”…the real numbers that reflect who we are as a country.