Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Beyond Heartbreaking

In a report out this week, we have learned that almost 50 million people in America went without food last year. 50 million. In that number, we have 17 million children going without. The report, compiled by the U.S, Department of Agriculture, calls it "food insecurity" when those documented could not maintain a "dependable supply of adequate food." The numbers also reflect those whose shortages are so severe that they are hungry.

50 million documented cases. I wonder what the actual number might be. Not surprisingly, families headed by single women struggle the most, and that last year more than one in three single mothers struggled for food.

While we all know that the needs of many have increased due to these horrible economic times, I am sick over these new numbers. It's like we are living in a third world country. 17 million children is 22.5% of all the children in America, and they are hungry. Almost one quarter of the children in this country have food insecurity go without food.

The reason for this post is that I want to encourage my readers friends here to consider doing things differently this coming holiday season. Instead of buying that golf ball monogramming tool for Uncle Bill, please make a donation to one of your local food banks. And make your loved one a nice card and tell him that his gift this year is the knowledge that a child will have a warm meal on him. It's a win-win.

If you would like ideas on how to get more people to participate, let me know. I have done this for three years at my church, and we have raised both monies and awareness of how great the needs are in our own back yards. So many of us are blessed. Please share.

23 comments:

Jules said...

very nicely put;)

big hair envy said...

We have been discussing ways to avoid the over-commercialization of Christmas this year. Donating food is a GREAT way to make a difference in your community. I really like your idea of presenting a loved one with a card telling them that a family has had a warm meal "on you"!! Can't wait to see the ideas that others come up with:)

Ellen said...

Well said.

Trisha said...

Such a good idea - we always make sure to share with others during the holiday season but we also remember those in need when it isn't a holiday too - that is when people forget them!

Joanie said...

This is such a great idea...

Grandma J said...

Great post. Many churches have food drives and the Salvation Army is a wonderful organization when it comes to feeding the homeless.

I heard the same statistics about American children going hungry, and then MSNBC had a segment on how one third of America's children are obese! We need to find a middle ground for our children. Give til it hurts!

Keetha said...

I'm with Jules - nicely put! Thanks for the sobering reminder and the suggestion, both a wonderful reminder in the true spirit of the holiday.

noble pig said...

We have donated a lot of food this year as the food banks are in low supply. Thanks for the reminder.

Marsha said...

Beautiful, and yes, food banks are struggling terribly to keep up.

Deb said...

Nicely stated, my friend. The kids orchestrated a food drive when they hosted their Ga/Fla shin dig. Surprisingly, they gathered quite a lot of food. We're doing it at least 2 more times during the holidays.

Daryl said...

Excellent idea.

Not bragging per se, but, I have been asked several times recently if I would sell prints of my photos ... I said no. BUT if you make a donation to a charity I will send you a print of which ever photo you want ... 2 people have agreed to my 'price' and it made me feel really good.

I was trying to come up with a hostess gift and now I know exactly what I am going to do .. make a donation to a food bank in the name of the lovely woman (and her husband) who are having me spend the night.

These Nine Acres said...

Excellent thoughts. We are working through our local school to identify the hungry in our very own community!

Sugar Creek Beads said...

This upset me so much it made me cry. How can American children do without, we are not a third world country. I WILL change how my gift giving will be this year. How sad it is that anyone is going without food or shelter when so much is wasted on the Wars. Thank you for shaking me! Jeanne

Snooty Primadona said...

Well said, my friend! It's really the main reason I enter the Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Competition every year. ALL of the proceeds go directly to the Austin Food Bank. It costs me approximately $100.00 to enter my three sauces (even though I know I'm not going to win) and for public admission they charge 2 or more cans of food.

Anyway, I think one thing that disturbs me the most is that with so many millions starving in our own country, we should be taking care of our own before trying to feed the hungry in Third World countries. And some of the ridiculous crap the government spends our hard earned dollars on, could feed that 50 million plus people probably 10 times over.

Seems like a no-brainer to me...

Decadent Housewife said...

Very good point.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

At our local elementary school 65% of the kids are on the free lunch program. And for many the food they get from school is all they get all day. It is tragic that any child should go hungary. I am a strong advacate for children. I am always raising awareness of their struggles and needs. I make sure my church food pantry is always full for anyone in need. Let me hear your ideas Mama. I am up to the challenge!
<><

LL Cool Joe said...

Well said, this is a big problem in the UK too. Well throughout the world. Our church does a great deal as well.

A great many people are involved in the "Shoebox" giving too.

http://www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk/pages/how-pack-your-box

TSannie said...

Hear hear!

Laura ~Peach~ said...

yes yes yes.... we need to take care of our own there should not be a single person in america going hungry ever!

Eva said...

Many thanks for the reminder.

Country Girl said...

I love this.

Hilary said...

It's a fine idea.. one I've used in a few instances. Good on you for suggesting it. :)

Lisa said...

thoughts brought to the fore front. Good job. Then I get to thinking how much we are sending over seas while our very own are going without. Tends to make me a bit angry. Then I think...where would THOSE people be without our food. Sad isn't it, that there is so much hunger every where and I am so stinkin' overweight. Not sad..but tragic.