(note: If I could go in the quote and put brackets around “childhood,” I would…because no one should go hungry. Period. End of quotation.)
Let’s start with a definition of food insecurity here. According to the USDA, 11% of US households along with as many as 20% of children struggle to meet the basic need of nutritious food. 8% of senior citizen households struggle to keep themselves fed as well.
It’s not just people on the ends of the life spectrum. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reported that 1.7 million US veterans made use of SNAP and local food pantries. Thanks to disability and a lack of truly decent jobs on their return, they end up in that hellish place where they have to decide between food, medicine, and bills. (The VA doesn’t do as much as you might think. One of my close friends is in a running battle with them on behalf of her husband, but that’s a long story for another entry.)
However, you can help. Yes, you, Gentle Reader, and I will be beside you. Beyond tossing stats and facts around–important for educating yourself and others–and beyond making contributions–vitally important for providing resources–the most important step you can take is reminding your congress rep about these issues in a phone call or email. If you have the misfortune to live in a district (like WI-01 or IL-14) with a rep who thinks the new tax bill that favors the extremely rich is just fine and dandy or is apathetic to the needs of the constituents, then work on getting them out of office.
No one should make a sacrifice for their country and have to choose between bills and food.
No one at the end of their life should have to, either.
And the parents of the people at the beginning of their lives shouldn’t have to, either.
No one, under no circumstances. Ever.