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Food Insecurity: Gentle Words, Harsh Reality

Food Insecurity: Gentle Words, Harsh Reality

Thanksgiving in America is a day of celebrating nature’s bounty and giving thanks for our many blessings. Food in abundance has become the central theme of the day, but too many among us go hungry on a daily basis. 

While acknowledging and giving thanks for our own good fortune, we must not forget about those who are struggling to put food on the table.

It’s being called “food insecurity,” a gentle phrase that sounds much less harsh than hunger, but hunger is what it is, and about 49 million Americans are living it.

There are millions of children right here in America are at risk of hunger every day. For a lot of them, school lunch and breakfast programs represent the only healthy food available to them. Without a nutritious diet, children are in increased risk of health problems, as well as social and educational difficulties. 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture released a report last week, Household Food Security in the United States, stating that in over 500,000 families with children in 2008, one or more children do not get enough to eat — they had to cut the size of meals, skip meals, or even go whole days at a time without food at some point during the year. 

From Nicola Goren, the Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, on the White House blog:

The Corporation for National and Community Service in coordination with the White House and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is launching the United We Serve: Feed a Neighbor initiative. The new initiative raises awareness of hunger issues and equips Americans with the resources to mobilize against the hunger crisis.

Here’s what you can do to get started fighting hunger today:

Beyond our own borders, undernutrition is a contributing factor in more than one third of all deaths in children under age five, and approximately 200 million children in this age group in the developing world suffer from stunted growth as a result of chronic maternal and childhood undernutrition, according to a a recent UNICEF report. Overall, there are more than one billion undernourished people in the world. One in six goes hungry every day. 

As we give thanks this holiday weekend, let us not forget those among us who hunger.

You can take action right here on Care2 by lending your signature to these important petitions:

Fight to End Hunger

Hunger Hurts Hard-Working Families

Related Reading:

Global Health: 200 Million Starving Children

America’s Hungry Children at Risk

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Photo: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1059133

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22 comments

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2:38AM PST on Dec 3, 2009

Thank you!!!

12:12AM PST on Dec 2, 2009

signed both thanks for posting this article

1:40AM PST on Dec 1, 2009

Hmm, well I can see why Freya the Wanderer is still single...I guess you don't realize that people who go hungry a lot tend to gain weight at first. My doctor told me this the last time I went to see her. She asked me how I was eating and I told her that me and my husband eat maybe one meal a day and sometimes not even that, because I want to make sure my two girls get enough to eat and sometimes we just barely make it to another pay check to get more food.She said that's why I'm not loosing any "fat" it's water you loose.Because of the missed meals sometimes a few days at a time, it causes your body to go into starvation mode and then when you do eat it stores everything it can. So, don't assume that everyone who is "FAT" eats a ton of food a day. A lot of them don't. And this was my doctor who told me that. If you don't eat several small healthy meals a day you won't loose anything. Not that I want to loose a whole lot, my husband loves my curves so I'm reluctant to give them up, as well as my modeling career in the BBW industry. I enjoy every minute of that and the shine in my husband's eyes when he gazes at me. But, that still doesn't change the fact that starvation does nothing for a diet. It's WHAT you eat. Also, I've noticed a lot of food banks give out some very unhealthy food. The ones around here usually give cakes and things which is usually what's donated by the stores cause it expires fast. I wouldn't be so judgmental if I were you without knowing ALL the data.

10:08PM PST on Nov 30, 2009

We knew that our welfare "reform" policies would result in significant hunger and homelessness, and we didn't care. We allowed massive deregulation, and didn't speak up against the social strategy used to effectively pit the middle class against the poor; divide and conquer. That's important because through US history, significant movements, such as the labor and civil rights movements, were powered by the poor.

It's unfortunate that Americans often don't know their own history. I guess they just don't understand how powerfully the New Deal worked to make the US the world's leading economic power while shrinking economic disparities (vital to "ensuring domestic tranquility"). Even progressives merely shrugged their shoulders as the New Deal was dismantled. That was a big mistake. As a country, we aren't very good at putting things into context, understanding how harming the poor impacts the middle class, much of which is now poor as well.

On the issue of food vs. waste, it can simply be more cost-effective for businesses to destroy food than keep it in storage. The food supply is controlled to protect profits. That's just how business works. When corporations get generous tax breaks for giving the surplus food to food banks, it's worth their effort. If not, dump it. As the "Reagan Revolution" established, businesses are not moral entities.

11:34AM PST on Nov 30, 2009

Leah said “my caring does NOT end at it's borders!”

Neither does mine. But who are you to tell me that I should spend the majority of my time caring about what is happening in the US? I read my fair share of what happens in the US. But I would prefer to have that choice and not be tricked into reading stuff because the author didn’t think to say that this article was just about the US up front.

I certainly have my share of articles to read on Care2 if I want to learn about the US. Have a look at the articles that are the top articles on Care 2 today. Of the top five, 3 are about US legislation or politics (Oreos Law, Abortion a generational issue, evaluating Obama).

Yes, I took the time to comment here. Why? To educate Americans that actually there are other people on this site, and they should have some consideration. Obviously you don’t think we should have any consideration, that is your choice. Luckily not all Americans are as arrogant as you.

10:42AM PST on Nov 30, 2009

Lisa B.
If you wasted your "time" in reading this blog as you are not a US citizen well to freakin' bad! I live in the US but my caring does NOT end at it's borders! Nor should yours. My fiancee' is a UK citizen, his Country has similar problems but not the same as in the US,as they have universal health care,better assistance for home payments if can't or not working,however putting food on the table for many families is still a struggle.
In the blog links and in comments on Ann's blog IS info. for World feed the children programs and organizations! Several of the links Ann added are GLOBAL! Not just USA, yes she says "right here in America" is because is where she lives.
If yer time is so precious you feel you wasted it reading this blog,then Why did you waste more by leaving a comment?
So, outraged ? Personally I think you are being very insensitive to us all here, many struggling to survive and yes around the world. I do read and want to know about others in different Countries than my own how they are dealing with food insecurities,how their government handles the problems and I learn by reading their stories. Where it is personalized and connects us-Globally. So, why are You bothered so by reading ours? I guess you don't care what is happening in the US?
or that this all also affects the global economy?

12:07PM PST on Nov 29, 2009

What an extremely misleading article title. Care2 is an international site with international readers, but this article completely ignores that. The article is not about “food insecurity”, it is only about one area of food insecurity, and that is household food insecurity in US only houses. That the article uses phrases like “children right here in America”, and other exclusive statements, ignores the fact that anyone exists anywhere else but the US.

I am not saying that hunger isn’t an issue. But if this article was about ending hunger only in the US (because I assume that the rest of the American continent is not being addressed here at all), then it should say so up front.

So please Ann, if you are going to write and post an article about the US in an international forum, please be up front enough to say that is what it is so that the rest of us don’t waste our time reading it.

10:03AM PST on Nov 29, 2009

Do you remember seeing pictures taken during, and the aftermath of Katrina? Seeing a couple sitting on the top of their homes who would not leave their companion animals unless they, too, would be rescued with the human beings. Few of these people were rescued - no "pets" allowed!!
My husband and I are disabled; we, at present, have two dogs who are family. We live on two meager checks from SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance). The amount we've received monthly 2009 will remain the same come 2010. The cost of such staples as flour,toilet paper, veggies - fresh, frozen, or canned - the cost is high, and is not going to remain the same in 2010! Everything edible is going to have a higher cost come 2010.
Grocery stores, fancy restaurants, fast-food restaurants toss out enough edible food each day to feed several families for a month!
We're in our early 60's; we've been vegetarians for almost 30 years. We're thankful that our children are in their early to late 30's, and able to care of their food needs. No, they do not live in the same state as us. As a severely disabled Vietnam veteran, my husband receives all of his Rx meds for free, as all of the surgeries he's had to have. I've Medicare + Medicare Part D. A few of the Rx meds I take have a co- payment; I do have to pay a monthly amount of around $35 for the Part D. Maybe when 01/2010 arrives, we'll be able to apply for aid: the rent house in which we live, and have less problems paying for utilities? Bless All!

12:51PM PST on Nov 28, 2009

I have wasted alot of food the last 7 years with my marriage because of health problems and trying things. However, I went to basic meals and food for a few years. So when we have left overs we eat it until its gone. Those that are struggling I am going to suggest to make a big pot of soup or have a big bowl of something and eat that until its eaten up. Then after that is gone make more. I am starting that after the holidays are up. We have food stamps here and we are struggling alittle however, I need a few more weeks to plan out the meals I am going to be making all next year .
I am going meatless with breakfast and lunch and eat an wholesome meat meal on supper time.
Those that read this if you have extra food to feed people invite a family member that is struggling, invite a person from your local assembly or church, adopt a family this holiday season or a few families and give them some food to last at least until Valentines day and then give them a love basic for Valentines day.

10:35AM PST on Nov 28, 2009

It's sad that so much food is thrown away from stores when it has just expired instead of taken care of and maybe donated to a shelter for homeless and hunger.

In Sweden one out of four grocery bags is thrown away.
That's what the numbers show and I'm sure they are correct.
People buy in bulk and don't eat it all so it's thrown away.
Leftovers are not used for another meal but thrown away.

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