Who's Hungry in Your Neighborhood?

More than 35 million Americans--including 12.6 million children--live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger, according to Bread of the World and reported in the November 23, 2007, Religion and Ethics newsletter.

The number is staggering and oh so close to home. The rector of our church recently remarked to me that the real measure of economic health in a Greater Waterbury, where we live, is the number of people who frequent the soup kitchen and when they do it. As the month wears on and families run out of money to meet their expenses, more and more turn to the soup kitchen for a healthy meal, he said. He was quick to point out that most of these are hard-working, two-income families whose paychecks simply can't keep up with the cost of living.

The Reverend David Beckmann, president of Bread of the World (a nationwide Christian organization that works to eradicate hunger) corroborated this view in his interview with Religion and Ethics when he said, ""In our country it's not hunger like in Ethiopia . . . the typical pattern of hunger in our country is that the family runs out of food."

Beckmann's organization, like OxFam America, is working on reform of the Farm Bill so that it will "deal with food assistance for hungry families and help and helping some families get out of poverty. Much of the money in the Farm Bill goes to affluent families . . . so there's an opportunity this year, to shift some of those resources."

Read about the Farm Bill at Oxfam and at Bread of the World.

Comments

  1. Great thought provoking post.
    I know lots of children in outwardly affluent families go hungry - they had breakfast as school program here for the 'poor' and those not so poor.

    I think our world is so consumerised that we forget we can live without the lastest gadgets ...on credit.
    Debt spirals and then the families run out of money.

    Real poverty like 3rd world nations... that is something no-one wants to think about sadly.

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  2. Thanks for the links. I'll watch it when I can use dd's computer. The speakers stopped working on the one I am on now.

    Have a Blessed Month and thanks for stopping by my blog to look at Daisy's Wreath.

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  3. There is such a shame issue with money. It's hard sometimes to ask for help. I know my level of broke is temporary but I know lots of families around here.. especially imigrant families, that struggle with little things like heating their homes. Imagine it being cold outside and knowing you can't afford to turn on the heater... and having to scrounge wood pallets from construction sites to keep your family warm. This isn't a third world country. This is right here where I live, and these families are here because it's better than where they came from.... umm sorry for the book. It has been on my mind a lot lately.

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  4. THANKS for the book, Marilyn! I know here in CT not all who struggle are crazy spenders. I guess the same is true in Colorado. Seems to me the real deal is a lot of decent people can't afford to live!

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