#Hungerfast: Speaking out against budget cuts on the backs of the poor

April 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

This past week, people around the country chose to fast in protest of the cruel proposed budget cuts that would impose an even harsher economic reality upon the most needy in this country. Those of us who have the privilege to be able to put food on our tables for our families chose to stand in solidarity for a 24-hour period, or sometimes more, with those in this country who are hungry. There are people struggling in our communities, making impossible choices of whether to pay for medicine, rent, heat, or food. Folks can’t afford to pay for all of the basic necessities, so while those with privilege can choose to fast, there are many who have no choice.

I participated from sunrise to sunset on Wednesday this week, joining my coworkers and friends at Feeding America. We have been spreading the  movement through social media, and personal/professional blogs like mine. Some have been critical of the fast, saying that it is a silly, meaningless gesture. Maybe in and of itself it doesn’t accomplish much more than a symbolic protest, but it does raise awareness and challenges people to think about their choices and responsibilities.

The reality is that having nutritious food should be a right, not a privilege, and as a nation we have a responsibility to close the gap for those who are food insecure.

For more information about hunger in America and in your community, visit Feeding America’s website. The Map the Meal Gap research is especially compelling, as it brings the reality of hunger into focus for all of us. People are hungry in your community. Take the time to understand the facts and what you can do to help.

Hunger Action Month

August 23, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hunger is a problem that we can solve. There is enough food in the world, but many Americans are struggling more and more to make ends meet and put nutritious food on the table.

Every one of us can help in some way, whether it is giving up an occasional lunch out or a latte and giving that $3-$10 to a local food pantry instead, or volunteer some regular shifts at your local food bank or soup kitchen, or spreading the word about Hunger Action Month to your friends and family.

Please consider taking the pledge to fight hunger.

Clean Your Plate: People Are Hungry

November 30, 2009 § Leave a comment

New USDA published the latest statistics on food insecurity on November 16, reporting that 49 million people are struggling with hunger in the United States. At Feeding America where I work, we were expecting the numbers to be bad, but we found them shocking.

Since then, there have been numerous articles about how people are coping with the recession, including an article in today’s New York Times about food stamps.

Many have observed the paradox of hunger and obesity in this country, and a recent study shows that as much as 40% of the food produced in this country is thrown out.

When I was growing up, I remember making fun of my elders saying that we needed to clean our plates because there were children starving in Africa. Now I find myself overcome with guilt if I don’t finish everything on my plate, or if I throw anything away in my refrigerator.

This issue touches every facet of my life, personally, professionally, and spiritually. My spouse, Gillian, talks about being a good garde manger in the kitchen, the person who stocks the pantry and makes sure that the food is rotated and used efficiently and economically, making sure not to waste anything.

As I approach my work in philanthropy supporting hunger relief, and as I make my own personal choices about food and sustainability, I’m going to strive to be a better garde manger at home, and do my part to help get food to my hungry neighbors.

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