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:
- Find an opportunity to serve by using the keyword “hunger” in our “Find a Volunteer Opportunity” search engine on Serve.gov
- Create your own service project using our anti-hunger toolkit
- Raise awareness and learn more about ending hunger in America
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.
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