My mom tells this story: as kids my sister and I would play a game called “I’m the Mommy.” In our play we would walk around in mom’s high heels, sporting her old purses and clutching our baby dolls. In our wallets we would have our grown up stuff… ID, money and food stamps.
As a teen when my mom would tell this story I would be mortified!
As a kid I did not have any thoughts on where my food came from. I just knew that when I would open the fridge food was there and plentiful. During trips to the market my mom would always get Buffy and I special treats and we would leave with food, how it got paid of no consequence to me. When we were older and would have to run errands the stigma of the funny colored money really hit me and I would cringe as my mom handed me a blue, orange or maroon coupon along with “real deal” cash to pick up something from the store. When mom finished school and got a job that was able to support us without the need of food stamps, I was so relived.
Now, as an adult who works but at times have more week than money, I can appreciate the idea of assistance and a need for extra money to eat. While The Bee and I may have had to eat at home more often than we were able to go to restaurants, we have never had to worry where our next meal was coming from.
Last week I read a New York Times article shared by a Facebook friend about the debate on the rising enrollment claims for assistance. The article mentions a 2012 survey released by the Department of Agriculture released showing that nearly 49 million Americans were living in “food insecure” households — meaning, in the bureaucratic language of the agency, that some family members lacked “consistent access throughout the year to adequate food.” In short, many Americans went hungry. The agency found the figures essentially unchanged since the economic downturn began in 2008, but substantially higher than during the previous decade. How is this even possible? How can we be a power house in the nation when people are not able to eat?
While reading the blog, just DEW it, I cam across an event which encourages people to dine out to help benefit No Kid Hungry. From Dawn’s website:
Today, Monday, Sept. 16 is No Kid Hungry’s twEAT out for Hunger, a social media blitz designed to drive consumers to Dine Out for No Kid Hungry at their local restaurant. This is a coast-to-coast event with more than 8,000 restaurants participating. “Dine Out” runs all month, but the big push for action is 9/16-9/21. You can help by sharing tweets, and making reservations—a lot.
If dining out is not on your to do list, consider starting a canned food drive. My library has one which benefits the food pantry at Lansdowne Presbyterian Church. I realize that one donation may not make all of the difference but there has to be a place and way to start. I have been fortunate to never have had to worry about my next meal but worry that others may not be so fortunate.
Help spread the word! Click below and share with others.
Want to learn more? Explore NoKidHungry.com to further educate yourself on the realities of childhood hunger in the U.S. and about other ways you, your family and your friends can contribute.