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Hungry In America! Why Are We Letting Our Children Go To Bed Hungry?

Updated on November 27, 2011

Children In Danger! Time To Step Up!

No Food In The House, If There Is A House!

That hunger in this country is still an issue, with all of  the money that we spend, make, squander and hoard, should be an embarrassment. That millions of children go to bed hungry every night should be more than embarrassing; it should be criminal. How can it be that before a baby can even say the words, " I am hungry", they have  to experience that gnawing feeling in their little stomachs? The hunger pains. Hunger in America reports that in 2010, 14 million children in this country are hungry. Charities and government food stamp programs continue to try to solve the problem, but every year the statistics rise.

It is always someone else's problem. As long as it does not affect your own children, the thought of food insecurity rarely enters your mind. How many times have I heard people say, "It is the parents' fault!" or "Food stamps cost too much and we can't afford them. Those people are all lazy, anyway." or  "Not my problem." 

To me, the exceptionalism of America is in doubt. If we, as a nation, cannot feed our own children, how exceptional are we?

Food Banks Continue To Close, Donations Increase Only At Christmas

Every one of us has a food bank within driving distance. Yet, how many of us think about donating food except during the holiday season, beginning with Thanksgiving and ending right after Christmas? If each of us who had a little bit of extra money, could see our way clear to go out, spend $20 a month on extra food and drive it over to our nearest food bank, we might be able to put a dent in the hunger problem that one in six Americans faces every single day. Think a cash donation will go to waste? Don't give cash. Give food. Think the parents of these hungry children are lazy? It doesn't matter. Your opinion, whether justified or not, will NOT feed the children.

When I was a little girl, my family was not wealthy. My father was in the Navy, and gone most of the time. My mom didn't have much money to feed us, but we never went hungry. That woman could take a pound of pasta, add some garlic and olive oil, and feed us three kids what seemed like the best meal we ever had! I remember being about 8 years old and going grocery shopping with her. She would make a few stops, picking up certain things from different stores, always following the sales. We would stop at the second or third store and she would never lock the car, leaving our groceries unguarded and unprotected. One day I said, "Mom, why are you leaving the car doors unlocked?" She looked at me and said, "If someone steals our food, they need it more than we do." That was the day I got a lesson in sharing. My mother told me that if I had a loaf of bread and someone else had none, that I needed to give half of my bread to them. It was my responsibility as a human being to look out for others, to care. That lesson stuck with me, all of these 57 years later.

It is not my responsibility to feed the world, but it is my responsibility to share, without passing judgement. All across the country, food banks are being overrun by hungry families, hungry seniors, hungry people. They run out of food. Many hundreds of food banks across the country have closed their doors.

Cuts To Food Stamp Funding Will Hurt Children!

The U.S. Congress will be debating budgetary issues for the next several months. Part of that debate will most certainly devote itself to cutting of the Food Stamp Program. Cut money for weapons? No! Cut money to wars? No! But cut money to food stamps? Definitely! That is how exceptional we as a country are. We will listen to the never-ending stories of parasites that squander their food stamp budget on steak and lobster, the stories of able-bodied Americans who would rather stay at home than work. The stories will go on endlessly and those stories will justify their votes to end or severely reduce this needed progam. The wealthiest among us will once again pass judgement on those less fortunate. And after they cast their vote, they will leave the halls of Congress and go to their favorite 5 star restaurants, eat their own steak and lobster and never give a damn about what 15 million children are eating for dinner that night. Exceptional!


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  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

    Thank you, Chef Lee. It is getting harder and harder to NOT find these things happening. Too much to write about!

  • chefsref profile image

    Lee Raynor 6 years ago from Citra Florida

    Hey Jillian. its hard to believe they call this a Christian nation. The same people who proclaim their Christianity resent paying taxes that feed the poor and doctor the ill. "Am I my brother's keeper?" apparently not if you're a conservative.

    Up and awesome is getting to be a habit

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

    Thank you, Lela! The other day I read a story that recently happened, and because I did not mark it or find it again, could not reference the source. The writer had gone into a public school in our country. He saw a little girl wrapping up half of her free lunch and slipping it into her backpack. He asked her if she was saving it for later and she told him no. She was saving it for her younger sister, who did not go to school yet, and had so little food.

    The story hit me hard. If our own babies can share, why can't we? What is it about our elected officials? They worry about people scamming the system and stealing food? Made me remember my mother's words. If they steal food, they need it more than we do. Our children MUST have food!

  • CreatePerfection profile image

    CreatePerfection 6 years ago from Beautiful Colorado

    Jillian, thank you for this excellent article. I have spent so much time in my life searching for the source of callousness, neglect and shallowness in the human psyche. I have not yet found a satisfactory answer to the dilemma of the carelessness I see, not only in our population, but especially in our elected officials.

    How could anyone be aware of the suffering of others and just turn their back on it without a thought in the world of doing something to improve it, especially where helpless children are concerned.

    I appreciate your writing about this subject. Awareness is the first step. It is true that there are many who do not care, but fortunately there are many who do and your brilliant article will increase the awareness of this group.

    Thank you, Jillian.

    Blessings and light to you...


  • profile image

    Fay Paxton 6 years ago

    It is sad to think that a child anywhere goes to bed hungry. I think it is one of those problems that we don't see. I admit that entire attitude and awareness changed after a trip to New Orleans where a little homeless girl changed my life. I wrote about it in a series I called "Lily in the Gulf".

    One of the things that bothered me most was the way she was allowed to wander around begging and picking up trash and it didn't seem to bother anyone. I have always donated and saw that my children contributed time to food pantries, etc., but it just isn't the same as coming face to face with the reality.

    The homeless and hungry children are hidden from view. We don't see them, so they are easy to forget. Thanks for this excellent article to remind everyone.

  • Jillian Barclay profile image

    Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

    Dear HattieMattieMae,

    Thank you for reading and leaving your comment. I saw in your profile that you come from Michigan. I am relieved to hear that the food banks in Michigan are well-stocked, but then people in Michigan are always generous, even when they themselves are struggling!

    California is having a difficult time and not so used to crisis. I hear all the time about food banks closing througout the country. The unemployment and shelter issues are major problems everywhere. The statistics show that 45 million people in America are food insecure and out of that 15 million children. Think we all have to start stepping up, doing what little we can. 6 million seniors are having problems with food and many of them can't even get to a food bank. I am sure in Michigan that neighbors still check on each other, but in alot of states, people are too busy to even think about the little lady who lives down the street. Just all have to be more aware of what could be happening right next door.

    Again, Happy to meet you--will be reading some of your hubs!

  • HattieMattieMae profile image

    HattieMattieMae 6 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

    You have some truth to it depending on where your located, but there are endless churches that have food pantries and stocked, it does depend on the communities to donate, and grants. Of course the cuts will hurt, and foodstamps will be effected. Fortunately some people just don't choose to go or don't know where to go get the food, or where the pantries are. I can't say what happens in California, but I know in my state there is plenty of food out there, the food is the least of the worries. Usually the nonprofits and churches in our state make sure there is a food supply and campaign for donations and fundraisers. Like I said I can't talk for other states, but this one has it together, and yes they are struggling at the moment, but in actually sheltering the unemployed, getting them jobs, and vehicles to be independent! :)