_For whatever reason, that line from The Beatles came into my head the other day. I hadn’t been listening to Sgt Peppers, nor had I heard ‘A Day in the Life’ recently; but for whatever reason, it stuck. I think it may have been because it seems that almost every newscast these days are talking about the hardships facing so many Americans and so many people around the world.
In the past few weeks we’ve found out that almost half of the population of the US can be classified as either poor or low income. We hear about food pantry shortages, homelessness, hunger, injustice around the world and I know that sometimes I think, ‘Wow, this sucks, but really, what is my 10 dollars really going to do?’
And so we get to ‘I read the news today, oh boy…’
A lot of news recently about hunger. Not much about the raging famine in Africa or the endemic hunger that much of the world experiences (I have a theory as to why, but that's another post...).
No, the recent articles have been about the growing food insecurity and the daily hunger that so many American's experience. It is actually rather startling how many people experience 'food insecurity' in the US.
In 2009, 14.7 percent of households (17.4 million households) were food insecure.
In 2009, 5.7 percent of households (6.8 million households) experienced very low food security.
That's according to Feeding America.
Here are just a few good stories that I've come across recently that illustrate the difficulty that many of our neighbors are facing.
I really like this profile from CNN.
You may have heard about people taking the Food Stamp Challenge and living on a dollar amount equivalent to what they'd get in food stamps. Here is one person's experience. More in depth version on his blog...
This post is just for education. I heard a story the other day from a woman who regularly gave her neighbors fresh food because they didn't have the money to buy it at the store. Of course what was offered at their nearby grocery store was brown and bruised and not anything resembling the type of fresh vegetables and fruits my friend purchased (for less) at a market on the other side of town.
I want to be more like my friend. I want all of us to be more like my friend.
There's been a fair amount of news from across the world recently relating to a wide variety of justice issues. Here is a small sample for you all.
First off, some news from the Horn of Africa
Why is the famine in Somalia so bad? A variety of reasons...
One way to help in Africa...
Others include ELCA World Hunger and the International Red Cross. Bread for the World is another.
For an excellent primer on Africa that provides excellent examples of what citizens of the various nations are doing to try and help their neighbours, check out this article
Reuters gives a more in depth look at the reasons behind the rioting in Britain
Ive not the read the Orwell book that inspired this story, but I am putting it on my 'to read' list. You probably will want to as well after you read this from the BBC
The Starboarders site has some information on why we are supporting access to clean water (and by purchasing Chroma, you can help too!), but here is another look at the impacts of lack of access to clean water.
I haven't seen much else about this, but the UN's World Food Program reports that one-third of Afghans are facing a food shortage.
Food insecurity is, unfortunately, rampant in the US. For kids who grow up in that environment, it can have lifelong health implications.
Here is quick, and incomplete, look at some recent news events that are relevant to our mission...
9.1% unemployment? It's actually closer to 16%...
And as the unemployment rate rise, so does the number of people receiving food stamps; currently 1 in 7 Americans do...
- Here's an example for St. Paul, MN
If you aren't aware of what is currently happening in Africa, start paying attention.
- A little background...
- Even the emergency food supplies are almost gone...
How do we stop hunger worldwide? Try a bit of prevention. (This applies to a wide variety of things, and while not as exciting, is significantly cheaper than response)
Could more small farms help too? Some people think so...
What is the impact of increasing food prices? Question asked, question answered.
You may have heard about the recent Heritage Foundation report on the poor. Here's a bit of balance
Racial disparity in our foster care system? Unfortunately it's a national problem. Here is a report on the situation in Rhode Island
Unfortunately this barely scratches the surface... Food security and hunger are just symptoms of much larger systemic issues that need to change. We need to rethink the priorities of government and to rethink our own priorities. Let's keep working together to be the change that we want to see in this world
J Trapp (our resident expert on all things global and social awareness) writes...