Hungry Children~~ Feeding Starving Children Right Here in the USA

He does not know hunger

This precious little boy does not go to bed hungry....and for that we are so thankful.
This precious little boy does not go to bed hungry....and for that we are so thankful. | Source

It is our problem

Hunger in America is a very real issue Hunger globally is a serious issue that each of us should know about and make efforts to help curb.

. Hungry children is a public disgrace. Each of us who goes to bed without feeling the pangs of hunger gnawing at our bellies should feel shame and guilt in the knowledge that even one child longs for food to quell hunger pains.

Many children go to school to eat two meals that they may not have had at home. While school food is a controversial topic, some food is better than no food for a starving child. There were children in my classrooms who not only ate what was on the tray that held their food but would gladly welcome 'seconds'.

The reason that the child is not getting enough food at home could be very simply low income. Income that is not sufficient to feed, house, and clothe one child and certainly not more than one. It could also be misuse of public assistance that is received. It really does not change anything to know the cause. That is another story for another day.


If you can't feed one hundred people, then feed just one

— ~~Mother Teresa

Right in Your Neighborhood or Town There is Need

There are children every day, in every corner of the world, that are h u n g r y. It is our job to help feed them.

This may cause your jaws to tighten and for you to throw up your hands and say, "You expect me to save everyone!!"

And, no not everyone.

Just those that you can. The ones that live down the road, down the street, or within the town where you reside. And, not all of those either. Helping one family would be a start. And as we know, some do not welcome 'charity' from individuals but from social service agencies, schools, or ministers help is often welcome. Find a way to help.

You may have financial problems of your own that do not allow you to freely donate money or food to help others. Whatever you can give in money or in foodstuffs will make a difference.

We do not need to look for some far off corner of the world to do so. Look around your community and you will be able to find children who are hungry. And while your offer of food may not be welcome from you personally, it probably will be accepted through a social service agency, a school, or a minister in your town.

Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity. It is an act of justice.

— ~~Nelson Mandela

The Statistics are Alarming and Heinous

The one that hit home hardest to me is the one stating almost nine million children die before reaching the age of 5!!!

That boggles my mind. And all of it is not from hunger but most of it is from the underlying cause of hunger, poverty.

With all of the advances that have been made in all areas of living worldwide, this statistic should not exist.

Malnutrition

Being malnourished means that an individual is not receiving enough nourishing food. The food does not supply proper amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals, and calories to provide proper mental and physical development.

Brothers who do not go to bed hungry

Source

Did you know?

  • Almost 9 million children die (globally) before reaching age 5.
  • Hunger and malnutrition were either directly or indirectly responsible for about 1/3 of those deaths. .
  • Malnourished children suffer damage that is not reversible: physically they do not develop properly, immune systems are compromised, and cognition is not up to par. Any or all of these can occur if that child is fortunate to survive early childhood.
  • Florida, New Mexico, the District of Columbia, Oregon, and Arizona were the top states with the highest rate of children under the ago of 18 living in food insecure situations.
  • Massachusetts, North Dakota, New Hampshire, V9rginia, and Minnesota were the top five states that had the the lowest rate of children under age 18 living in insecure food situations The information cited is from the year 2010,

Hungry in DC..

What is wrong with this picture? It is bad enough that children are hungry anywhere, in any state, in any nation. Bit in the District of Columbia? Our nation's capitol.

How can it be so that where some of the most influential individuals in our nation live and work there are children who every day long for the food they need to fill their tummies.

How can it be?

Wake up, America. Send a letter to congress man or woman and tell them it is a disgrace and they should DO whatever it takes to end hunger in DC and across our nation.

Around the world, do the same. Contact your leaders and let your voice and your concerns be heard. WE are the voice of our children.

Hunger is not a problem. It is an obscenity.

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

— ~~Anne Frank

Do you feel a need to help the hungry children in your town?

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Reality set in....

My first years of teaching were in low socioeconomic schools. This remark is not a slam or an insult to any group of individuals. It was just the case. As a matter of fact, the first school I taught in was integrated only via the teachers. There were no white students at the school and the school was considered to be 'across the tracks." A term I really did not understand until I found out that the schools 'across the tracks' were not given the same materials and tools that the schools in the white zones were. Wow, what a rude awakening for a first year teacher.

However I digress. The children in that school came to school primarily to eat. They ate breakfast and lunch and they ate it all. This was in the early seventies.

Almost ten years later I taught in another state (am refraining from naming states) and again taught in a low socio-economic school. And, again most of those children came to school hungry.

There simply was not enough food at home to feed them. The reasons may have been ones that we can debate and become angry about but the fact remained the children were hungry and many remain so today.

Source

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Abraham Maslow studied psychology and went on to pursue his interest in this topic. He developed the hierarchy of needs that are considered by many to be the needs that we all have.

The pyramid includes the steps in his hierarchy and the very foundation of it is physiological needs. Those are the basic needs we all have: the need for --among them are food, air, water, sex, and excretion. These needs must be met first Maslow determined before moving on to the other levels of needs on the pyramid.

For the hungry children in our world who never have their need for food met, too often death is the result and the opportunity to climb up the hierarchy is never possible.

A lesson learned

In my first grade class 38 years ago, I had a little boy who came to school to eat. He came to eat breakfast and lunch and whatever snack was provided within the classroom throughout the day. The emphasis in his home was not on learning. It was not anywhere in Maslow's hierarchy of needs at any time that he was in my class for his family.

This family was on survival mode. They tried to survive from one meager paycheck to the next and it never stretched far enough.

Before I discovered that he came to school to be fed, I made a grave error that I never ever repeated. He seldom made any attempt to do any of the assigned tasks for the day. No matter what I did he would do little or nothing. He was content to sit with his head down on his desk.

So in all of my wisdom (or should I say, lack of wisdom), I told him if he did not get his work done he could not go to lunch with our class on one particular day . He would have to sit in another class till his work was done and then he could go to lunch with that class.

He had never shown any type of reaction before this incident. But no sooner were the words out of my mouth, than huge tears formed in his amazing chestnut brown eyes, cascading down his flawless cheeks, down his neck, and coming to rest in a puddle on his chest. His heart was broken. His fear was real. His desperation palpable. He only heard "you will not go to lunch."

He came to school because he would find food there.

What a lesson I learned that day. I learned that I would find another way to motivate any child to get the job done with assigned tasks. Never ever after that day did I suggest that a basic need would be withheld at any point throughout our day even for a little while.

A few days later that sweet boy was absent from school. He was usually the first to arrive every day. When he came back the next day, I asked him where he had been. He said, "Oh, I was home 'cuz I couldn't find my other shoe." Casually glancing at his feet, I could see that the shoes he had on were two sizes too big...his brother's shoes. That evening a good fairy bought a pair of shoes for him and placed him by his desk the next morning in a brown paper bag. He peeked in the bag and looked at me and a thank you smile appeared. No words were spoken. None were necessary.

What you can do...

Throw up your hands in frustration?? Become angry because once again the burdens of others are being presented to you as somehow they are your problem?

Certainly not. This is about choice. You can choose to help make life better for one child or for many children or not. It really is that simple.

Donate money or food to a food bank, to a school, to your church outreach programs. Do it locally.

If you are not sure who the hungry children are, contact your local schools, city council, or other organizations that do know.

if there is no agency in your town that is responsible for collecting money to purchase food or to collect food, organize a group of friends and neighbors and begin your own local food bank.

One child at a time we can begin to make a difference.

© 2013 Patricia Scott

More by this Author


Comments 34 comments

pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Sadly you are correct. So many are struggling to meet basic needs for their families.

When I was growing up, we were poor but we always had food. My Momma and Daddy grew our food, most of it. So while we did not have a lot of extras we had an abundance of love and plenty of food to fill our tummies.

My hope is that we can feed all of those children who are literally starving to death.

Thanks for visiting.

Angels are on the way to you and to all of our hungry children. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Sadly you are correct. So many are struggling to meet basic needs for their families.

When I was growing up, we were poor but we always had food. My Momma and Daddy grew our food, most of it. So while we did not have a lot of extras we had an abundance of love and plenty of food to fill our tummies.

My hope is that we can feed all of those children who are literally starving to death.

Thanks for visiting.

Angels are on the way to you and to all of our hungry children. ps


CMHypno profile image

CMHypno 3 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

Unfortunately it happens in the UK as well. More and more food banks are being opened because parents are being financially squeezed. Great that you wrote about this important topic


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you, Alicia.

Yes. It causes me pain to think that some precious child is somewhere not far from me feeling the gnawing feeling that real hunger brings. I saw the look of sadness and fear on the faces of children that came into my classroom years ago.

Feeding our children should be a number one priority in our country and in any country.

Thank you for sharing and for stopping by today Angels are on the way to all of the hungry children and to you. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you, Alicia.

Yes. It causes me pain to think that some precious child is somewhere not far from me feeling the gnawing feeling that real hunger brings. I saw the look of sadness and fear on the faces of children that came into my classroom years ago.

Feeding our children should be a number one priority in our country and in any country.

Thank you for sharing and for stopping by today Angels are on the way to all of the hungry children and to you. ps


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 3 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is an awesome and very important hub. Thank you so much for creating it. It's horrible that children come to school hungry, and it's disgraceful that this happens in so-called developed countries such as the United States and Canada. I'll share this hub.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you. I will locate it....ps


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

Dear pstraubie48;

If it is of any use to you, I found the excerpt in question in a book entitled ' Success In British History 1760-1914 ', by Peter Lane, B.A.( reprinted 1981); ISBN: 0 7195 3483 6

Yours Sincerely,

R.Q.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Romeo's Quill

That was a fascinating excerpt you added. I will see if I can find more of it to read.

It is shameful as we both agree that in this world where there is so much extravagance and wealth that ONE child be hungry for one day.

Thanks for visiting. Angels are on the way to you this afternoon. ps


Romeos Quill profile image

Romeos Quill 3 years ago from Lincolnshire, England

Good evening pstraubie48;

I'm pleased to make your acquaintance ma'am, and your biography is engrossing and fascinating.Your Hub article is amazing, and so necessary.Child malnutrition is still a grave evil, and it is shameful, and inexcusable that it still continues, in lands that do not suffer famine.

It reminded me of this excerpt I found in a book:-

In 1906, the government passed the School Meals Act (England), to help the children of the very poor.It was the teachers who had pointed out that hungry, sick and diseased children were unable to benefit from education.One doctor reported in 1907:

' They seemed to be in a condition of semi-torpor, unable to concentrate on anything.If I told one of these children to open its mouth it would take no notice until the request became a command.Then the mouth would be slowly opened wide, but no effort would be made to close it again, until the child was told to do so: these cases were always associated with bodily starvation, stunted growth, emaciation, rough and cold skin.What is the use of educating children whose bodies are absolutely unable yo benefit from it? '

Source: The Condition Of the Liverpool Schoolchildren (1907) - Arkle, A.S.

Stark similarities to the situation in which you found yourself also, but with people like your sweet self, there is always hope for those who are tantamount to being orphans.

Over here, malnutrition that I've experienced and seen in families, is that either/or one/both parents are neglectful, alcoholic/drug addicts, or just lack the basic education about what constitutes a healthy dinnertime.

Thank you for an informative, and very emotional article, with quality links, which deserves to be shared.

Enjoy a lovely evening;

With Kindest Regards,

Romeo's Quill


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks for sharing this, Au fait...this is really very close to my heart as I was the teacher in schools where we had many hungry children and it was heart breaking.

those who have tons of money have a responsibility to others....in my opinion for what it is worth. Yes, it is their money but if you have more than you can spend in ten life times you should be eager to share it with those who are less fortunate.

We just need to keep our voices loud and strong...on this issue.

Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thanks for sharing this, Au fait...this is really very close to my heart as I was the teacher in schools where we had many hungry children and it was heart breaking.

those who have tons of money have a responsibility to others....in my opinion for what it is worth. Yes, it is their money but if you have more than you can spend in ten life times you should be eager to share it with those who are less fortunate.

We just need to keep our voices loud and strong...on this issue.

Angels are on the way to you this evening. ps


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas

There is no reason why, in the so-called richest nation on this planet that anyone should be hungry or homeless, and that goes 10 times for our homeless veterans. Since when does anyone need Gazillions of money? Even their great great great grandchildren could not spend it all, yet some people horde all that money while other people are starving. I don't want to hear the excuse that it's their money and that they stole it fair and square. That gets no points with me.

An excellent hub with a great message. I have placed a prominent link in 2 of my hubs to this hub. One in my recent hub "Poverty Kills, etc." and one in my hub "Americans Throw Away 165 Billion Dollars Worth of Good Food Every Day, etc." Hope it will bring you traffic. Also, sharing with my followers and pinning to my "Helping People in Need" board.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning Eddy

We have so many issues that are importance to us world wide. This one needs to be a priority. No child should ever wonder where their next meal is coming from. It is shameful and there is really no excuse for it.

Thanks for reading.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning Eddy

We have so many issues that are importance to us world wide. This one needs to be a priority. No child should ever wonder where their next meal is coming from. It is shameful and there is really no excuse for it.

Thanks for reading.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


Eiddwen profile image

Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

A sobering and well written hub PS and thank you for sharing. Enjoy your weekend.

Eddy.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

You are so right, drbj.

How can it be?

Grocery stores that have food left over at the end of the day that was precooked and restaurants too could help feed so many on a daily basis.

Angels are on the way to you and to each of us in hopes that we will find a way. ps


drbj profile image

drbj 3 years ago from south Florida

It is difficult to understand, Patricia, how children can go hungry in the U.S., the richest country in the world. Thank you for pointing this out and raising our consciousness about this problem. It's sad that tons of food are thrown out or wasted every day and we - the people - are not wise enough to find a way to feed every child. That should be high on every American's list.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning again DDE

If we can find a way to feed our hungry children it will be a way to insure better lives for them. This is something we need to address locally and make a way to help families in need find ways to provide for their children. Angels are on the way to you again this morning. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Thank you for stopping by, tonipet.

It is heart breaking to see a child literally starving. If only we can find a way to see that the children in our towns do not feel the pain of hunger, we can make a difference. We cannot wait for our government or other organization to do this for us. We must spearhead efforts in our towns to get the job done.

Angels are on the way to you today ps


DDE profile image

DDE 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Well thought of topic hunger affects many kids around the world and is sad. you made a perfect example in the photo of a child who doesn't know the meaning of hunger. Voted up, useful, and interesting.


Tonipet profile image

Tonipet 3 years ago from The City of Generals

It's truly a pity but realistic that the very young does not know what hunger means. They don't even know that it can be possible for the world to be short of food. Educating the young today can save the world. They will lead growing enough food for everyone to turn for help. No children should go hungry. Beautiful hub, really, pstraubie. Thank you for writing this. :=) -Tonette


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning dear Faith

As I child my family was poor. However we had chickens to provide eggs and my Momma and Daddy grew an abundance of food in their huge vegetable garden so I never knew what it felt like to be hungry as I lay down at night or any other time for that matter. But I saw the hungry look in the eyes of many children throughout the years that I taught and it pained me each and every time and does today.

I too believe it can be eradicated...it just needs to be made a priority.

We need to keep our voices loud and strong until we eliminate this curse from our world.

Angels are on the way back to you dear Friend. Have a lovely week. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning dear Faith

As I child my family was poor. However we had chickens to provide eggs and my Momma and Daddy grew an abundance of food in their huge vegetable garden so I never knew what it felt like to be hungry as I lay down at night or any other time for that matter. But I saw the hungry look in the eyes of many children throughout the years that I taught and it pained me each and every time and does today.

I too believe it can be eradicated...it just needs to be made a priority.

We need to keep our voices loud and strong until we eliminate this curse from our world.

Angels are on the way back to you dear Friend. Have a lovely week. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning dear Martin

Yes, my Daddy was in the Masons too and they did things to help out in the community. I was not so aware of it as I was a very young girl at the time but my Momma told me about it as a teen.

Angels are on the way to you this morning ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning Pamela

Yes, it has made me want to do more too...seeing the need and being reminded that the little ones in our community should never go to bed without a full belly.

And we know it only takes a little, minuscule effort on our part to make food on the table possible for them.

Angels are winging their way back to you, Pamela. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning Vicki

At Christmas time we were asked to suggest families who may have special needs for the holidays. And they were provided with all of the 'fixings' for a lovely turkey dinner and an abundance of extra canned and nonperishable food stuffs along with gifts for the children. Anonymous donors came forth and provided for the needs for so many who would have done without otherwise.

Angels are on the way to you this morning :)ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning Billy

This had been on my mind for some time...as a matter of fact it was begun before my move these past three weeks but I could not sit down to finish it.

In the small town, very small town where I live there are hungry children ...and it reminded me we needed to be doing more. There are a few programs to help but more is better in this case. Churches collect food (as well as provide clothing and other basic needs) for families in the area. But each individual can give more ...even if it is just a bit more.

Again, it is each of us working together that helps to feed our precious children. Angels are on the way to these precious ones and to you, my dear Friend. ps


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 3 years ago from sunny Florida Author

Good morning Billy

This had been on my mind for some time...as a matter of fact it was begun before my move these past three weeks but I could not sit down to finish it.

In the small town, very small town where I live there are hungry children ...and it reminded me we needed to be doing more. There are a few programs to help but more is better in this case. Churches collect food (as well as provide clothing and other basic needs) for families in the area. But each individual can give more ...even if it is just a bit more.

Again, it is each of us working together that helps to feed our precious children. Angels are on the way to these precious ones and to you, my dear Friend. ps


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 3 years ago from United States

This is a heartwrenching hub as the idea of any child going hungry is horrid. We could all do a little and it would make a huge difference. I am in group that does a lot of good work and we bring in food for the shelters. I think I will be more generous in the future. This hub is awesome as it spread the work. God bless and Angels are coming to you this morning.


Mhatter99 profile image

Mhatter99 3 years ago from San Francisco

Thank you for calling our attention to this. As a mason I was very involved with youth needs.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 3 years ago from southern USA

Oh, wow, my dearest friend PS! You have touched on a subject that just burns into my soul with such fierceness, as I just cannot begin to understand why this is even an issue, especially here in the U.S., much less around this whole world. No child should go hungry. Growing up, we had some hard times, and I know all too well, those pangs in one's stomach, and it is not fun!!! Maybe that is the reason I am so passionate about this subject.

Thank you for such an insightful and passionate write here! I hope this brings much more needed awareness on this issue, and that each one of can at least do a little something if not more. I believe this can be eradicated from the world!

God bless you for sharing that story about the child. Sometimes we just do not know until . . .

Voted up ++++ and sharing

God bless you. Sending Angels your way as always. Hugs and love, Faith Reaper


Vickiw 3 years ago

That is just heartbreaking, but unfortunately so real. There are hungry children, and I love your idea of going to the schools to find out who you can help, because teachers know. As one of the latter, I have seen this too.

Your 'light bulb moment" helped you help this child, and caused you to write this useful Hub. Good work.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 3 years ago from Olympia, WA

This ties in quite nicely with my hub tomorrow. :)

Since we are both teachers we have both seen the reality of this situation. All is not rosy in America and yes, it is our responsibility.

Thank you for raising the bar with this hub. If you reach just one person and convince them to do more, the hub is worth it.

Well done my dear friend.

Sending hugs and blessings your way on this Sunday night

bill

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