What’s your definition of a third world country?
When I was a child (far too long ago) third world countries were defined as those that didn’t produce enough food for their own citizens. I remember photographs of these faraway places…photos of people with blank stares and bellies bloated by starvation. If I failed to clean my plate, I was reminded that children in China were starving. (I never quite understood how my cleaning a plate helped the Chinese, but I felt sorry for them anyway.)
Today, many of those going hungry are right here…in the United States!
According to the directors of a new film, A Place at the Table, 50 million (1 in 6) Americans, including 17 million children, don’t have reliable sources of food. 1 in 2 American children will need food assistance in their lifetimes.
These aren’t the lazy layabouts who suck off the government teat that Teapublicans want you to think they are. More than 80 percent are from working families. The parents simply don’t earn enough to pay for rent, for clothes, for day care, for school books, for transportation and for food.
How is this possible in America?
It’s made possible by politicians who continue to cut taxes for the wealthy and powerful; by corporations that pay millions to CEOs and poverty level wages to workers; by politicians who refuse to raise the minimum wage even though it has lagged far behind inflation; by politicians who believe in corporate welfare but not human welfare; by politicians who want to balance the budget by cutting food stamps and access to medical care rather than our bloated defense budget.
We can change this.
We can donate to food shelves. We can volunteer to help those in need. We can support government programs to help raise families out of poverty. We can make certain that anyone who is willing to work can afford a roof over their heads and food on the table. We can demand that our politicians prioritize people over corporations. We can demand that they put people above partisanship; children above debt reduction.
We can end hunger in America.