"The camera is an instrument that teaches people how to see without a camera." - Dorothea Lange

Saturday, November 28, 2009

hungry in america

Yesterday's reference to my gratitude for food was deliberate and sincere. I am acutely aware of the toll hunger takes in Africa, especially on children. Here in the comfort of my Kansas City home, where my full refrigerator hums, the monthly donation we raise and then send to the orphanage from Change the Truth is a constant reminder that food is NEVER taken for granted by Nicholas, Rosette, Irene, Godfrey, Isabella, Julius, Jacob and all the other children we help support in Uganda.

Only a few miles from me, though, there are also hungry children. Because of my involvement with Operation Breakthrough, I am keenly aware of the fact that Johanna, Brittany, Anna, Kandis, Cardell, Charles and all the other children whose parent seek assistance also NEVER take for granted their next meal. This past week I photographed at a local shelter that provides hot meals for those in need. My subject was a family of four. The kids in this family are but two of the millions in America who experience hunger on a regular basis.

“The nation's economic crisis has catapulted the number of Americans who lack enough food to the highest level since the government has been keeping track, according to a new federal report, which shows that nearly 50 million people -- including almost one child in four -- struggled last year to get enough to eat.

The data show that dependable access to adequate food has especially deteriorated among families with children. In 2008, nearly 17 million children, or 22.5 percent, lived in households in which food at times was scarce -- 4 million children more than the year before. And the number of youngsters who sometimes were outright hungry rose from nearly 700,000 to almost 1.1 million.

Several independent advocates and policy experts on hunger said that they had been bracing for the latest report to show deepening shortages, but that they were nevertheless astonished by how much the problem has worsened. ‘This is unthinkable. It's like we are living in a Third World country,’ said Vicki Escarra, president of Feeding America, the largest organization representing food banks and other emergency food sources.

Food shortages, the report shows, are particularly pronounced among women raising children alone. Last year, more than one in three single mothers reported that they struggled for food, and more than one in seven said that someone in their home had been hungry -- far eclipsing the food problem in any other kind of household. The report also found that people who are black or Hispanic were more than twice as likely as whites to report that food in their home was scarce.”

-from The Washington Post

1 comment:

Billie said...

Doesn't this just break your heart? But I remember stories from my family that during the depression there was not enough food. My Aunt Lucille went out to the family farm and brought my mother in to town to live with her because Aunt Lucille said that she was starving. Who would have thought that our country would be facing this ever again.