As some of my early readers know, a couple of years ago the Accidental Locavore was part of a year-long challenge to learn the art of charcuterie, called Charcutepalooza. Recently, Cathy Barrow, one of the brains behind it, sent round an email asking us all to devote today’s blog to shinning a light on the problem with hunger in America. Now, my skeptical self says great, write a blog, let people know there are a lot of hungry, malnourished people in the US. Congress can’t do squat about anything, so why should they get off their big ol’ butts and help people? But being a child of the sixties, in the back of my mind, there is always a glimmer of hope. A lot of bloggers will focus on children going hungry; it’s appalling and shocking that 50% — that’s half the children in the United States (amber waves of grain, anyone?) — will need food assistance during their childhood! Maybe we should consider putting our efforts to a new movement: No Child Left Unfed.
More staggering and, for me, more personal, is that 50 million Americans are now receiving food stamps. My brother-in—law is one of them. He faithfully served his country in the Vietnam War and is now trying to survive on less than $4 a day in food stamps. Since we’re not close enough to him to help him out with actual food, we send him money to help him survive, but it’s unfortunate that someone who served his country (and there are millions like him) is not in turn served by his country.
Two recent documentaries also shed light on this deplorable situation: American Winter and A Place at the Table. The first was produced and directed by my cousins and is a look at families struggling to survive in this economy in Portland, Oregon. You can catch it on HBO. The second is strictly about hunger in America and is in movie theaters now. They both talk about shame, but isn’t the real shame something Congress should feel? Why don’t you take 30 seconds and tell Congress to support anti-hunger legislation? Thank you!