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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hunger in the Land of Plenty

In 2006, 35.5 million people went hungry in America. Within that group of people, 11.1 million have what our euphemism-laden society calls "low food security," which means that they literally do not know where their next meal is coming from. Appallingly, many of these suffering Americans are employed, but their jobs pay too little to support them and their families.

It always makes me angry when I hear people in the progressive-liberal community bemoaning the stupidity and passivity of Americans. I wonder how active and informed we would be if we were always worried about their next meal; if we didn't have access to the Internet; or if we didn't have leisure time because we were so "uniquely American" that we had to work three jobs?

According to Maslow's hierarchy of human needs, without the basics of food, clothing and housing, none of us would be able to focus on anything but subsistence. As we all prepare for the institutionalized gorging that is Thanksgiving, perhaps we should spare a moment to think about the more than 10 percent of our country who won't have enough to eat at all.

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