Kirsten sent The New Face of Hunger.  This month’s National Geographic features food around the world.  This article focuses on hunger in the USA.

Watch the video It’s Not Enough.  It could have made me cry.  To see people struggling to provide for their children, humbly doing so, ignoring the embarrassment.  Eminently decent parents.

I had a bowl of ice cream tonight after dinner.  It sure tasted good.

Today hunger in the suburbs is growing faster than in cities, having more than doubled since 2007.

For dinner tonight we had grilled chicken thighs, salad and whole wheat tortillas.  Yummy.

The root problem is the lack of jobs that pay wages a family can live on, so food assistance has become the government’s—and society’s—way to supplement low wages.

If I wanted, I could walk over to the fridge, the cupboard, and find something eat.  The only times in years I’ve felt hungry is when I’m too busy.  But the food’s there.  I can eat when I want.

But most of the working poor don’t have the time or know-how required to eat well on little. Often working multiple jobs and night shifts, they tend to eat on the run. Healthful food can be hard to find in so-called food deserts—communities with few or no full-service groceries. Jackie Christian didn’t resort to feeding her sons fried gizzards because it was affordable but because it was easy. Given the dramatic increase in cheap fast foods and processed foods, when the hungry have money to eat, they often go for what’s convenient, just as better-off families do.

Fried gizzards?

Those priorities are reflected at the grocery store, where the price of fresh food has risen steadily while the cost of sugary treats like soda has dropped. Since the early 1980s the real cost of fruits and vegetables has increased by 24 percent. Meanwhile the cost of nonalcoholic beverages—primarily sodas, most sweetened with corn syrup—has dropped by 27 percent.

So what is the problem, why do so many Americans, 1 in 6, struggle with food insecurity?

‘We’ve created a system that’s geared toward keeping overall food prices low but does little to support healthy, high-quality food,’ says global food expert Raj Patel. ‘The problem can’t be fixed by merely telling people to eat their fruits and vegetables, because at heart this is a problem about wages, about poverty.’

Time for bed.  I will not go to bed hungry tonight.

“We’re not starved around here,” she says one morning as she mixes up powdered milk for her daughter. “But some days, we do go a little hungry.”

food insecurity

 

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