The period leading up to Thanksgiving is a food blogger's favorite time of year. We dig out recipes for; turkey, stuffings, gravy, potatoes, and pies; post basting tips, recommend wine pairings, and generally get pumped for the big feast. In fact, I recently came across a recipe for Peking-Style Roast Turkey with Molasses-Soy Glaze and Orange-Ginger Gravy, and I'm flirting with the idea of talking my family into going such a route this holiday. I'm a foodie, it's what I do.
According to the organization No Kid Hungry, "48.8 million Americans—including 16.2 million children— live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. As a result, they struggle with hunger at some time during the year."
Meanwhile, the USDA's latest data states, "In the United States, 31 percent—or 133 billion pounds—of the 430 billion pounds of the available food supply at the retail and consumer levels in 2010 went uneaten. The estimated value of this food loss was $161.6 billion using retail prices. For the first time, ERS estimated the calories associated with food loss: 141 trillion in 2010, or 1,249 calories per capita per day."
Putting these facts together lead me to a single inescapable conclusion. Children aren't going hungry because there's not enough food. Children and families are going hungry because we can't distribute the food we do have.
We can't distribute the food. We can man an international space station and invade any Middle Eastern country we want, but we can't get a kid a sandwich three times a day. Think about that.
I could go into a tirade over the bumfuzzled political causes of this travesty, but such an epistle would change nothing. I'd rather spend my ink (pixels) encouraging people to address the problem in their own corners of the world.
Some people can work a soup line, drive meals to shut ins, and/or stock shelves at a local food bank. Those of us who can't give physical services, can probably donate food and money to a reputable charity dedicated to feeding the hungry.
However we choose to help curb the tide of hunger, it's a good bet that doing so will make our own feast taste better on the 27th.
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