A woman with cancer fights for shelter and food

A hungry family is a desperate family and a hunger kitchen provides a full meal. But we know that the hunger that sits below the surface of the trappings of American wealth and comfort…

A woman with cancer fights for shelter and food

A hungry family is a desperate family and a hunger kitchen provides a full meal.

But we know that the hunger that sits below the surface of the trappings of American wealth and comfort is coming to a boil. You can feel it right in your stomach, a good news story to bring a hungry family from the brink.

Food banks are a blessing, but they’re no fix for poverty

Advocates for the poor have long called on public institutions to aid the hungry as a solution to poverty, yet the bodies and nation have always been there to help the hungry. The rest will be left to us, the taxpayers and the charities and other charitable organizations that are presently serving the hungry.

But times are different. Rising food costs, living costs, wages and the baby boom generation retiring make America less economically productive. In their place, America has an aging and increasingly sicker population that struggles to make ends meet with both food and housing costs. We don’t have to be experts on how our food supply works or the frequency of its crop failures. But one of the best indicators of the health of an economy is its ability to provide nourishment for hungry families. So, with a worsening economy, the cost of feeding a family with daily needs rises by $3,600 a year and a child born today will cost nearly double the income of his or her parents when they enter their 30s.

As if that is not difficult enough, these families must also struggle to make the required life decisions to add to their household income. These tough decisions will determine what a family can afford. If the family continues to buy food from a “food bank,” they cannot afford to put toward rent or to save for a home. They will have to choose between paying for insurance for themselves and children or for food for their children. The choice is often between owning and borrowing and the government wants that choice.

The expense can be economic death. In 2011, 35 people under age 60 were found to be dying every day in the United States simply from hunger and starvation. That is a staggering number, and it is simply unconscionable that Americans over 60 are starving for the American dream.

So, yes, food banks and hunger kitchens are a real help. But more and more Americans will eventually be hungry. The economy is not recovering and, for too many Americans, the American dream is dying. The system that fed them for decades is changing so the children can eat and the poor can survive on the rent and the meager wages they must collect from a variety of jobs. In today’s world of cutbacks and higher and higher prices, the American dream is dead.

Leave a Comment