Tag Archives: Food

People Are Talking — About Hunger in a Land of Plenty

The first essential component of social justice is adequate food for all mankind.  Food is the moral right of all who are born into this world.”  Norman Borlaug

Today’s convergence of factors lead to sobering thoughts – of hungry children plodding through the snow with no breakfast, of the calls for acts of charity at this penitential season, and of concern to meet  goal for Minnesota FoodShare Month, highlighted by a call to action issued by Governor Dayton and a project of the Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches.

Minnesotans may have read or heard that food shelves throughout the state are more than ever in need of both financial and food support.  Barrels are everywhere through Minnesota communities to make it easy for generous folk to drop off non-perishable goods.  Food and financial drives are going full speed in houses of worship, the workplace, nonprofits and the community at large.

The good news is that people are taking a closer look at why we have persistent hunger in our communities – why children go to bed hungry, why seniors have to decide between meds and food, why, in spite of the adage, waste and want exist side by side.  Conversations are going beyond emergency needs to the deeper questions such as What has led us from crisis to benign acceptance of a societal travesty? How do we in a farm state balance production and consumption?  Why do higher employment rates and food shelf statistics not compute?  Is the right to food a human right?

The media are contributing to the public discourse in positive ways.  A Place at the Table, is drawing audiences and media coverage.  Anna Lappe’s presentation, sponsored by Minnesota FoodShare and the Westminster Town Hall Forum, drew a SRO audience and has been requested by a barrage of MPR listeners.  Local media have given time to features on hunger-related issues.  The Daily Planet recently ran the Minnesota FoodShare video for their broad audience.  And people of faith are heeding the words of their leaders in places of worship of every denomination, including a local adoption of  Mazon, a nation-wide Jewish response to hunger.

Meanwhile, at the State Capitol, legislators will have a chance to listen to the public and take action on the immediate needs.  Though the imperative to fill the shelves with more and better food is a priority, it’s time to take a longer view of the underlying issues…. If not now, when?

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Support the Walk to End Hunger – Thanksgiving Day at the MOA

Would a cup of latte taste good right now?  Or a scone?  Maybe one of those one-baked cookies the generous co-walker brought in this morning.   If you’re at home, the kids are gone, you’ve read the paper and now it’s break time.  Forget the diet and go for it.  Because you can.

As you munch and sip spend a minute thinking not so much about your waistline or your gut but about the millions of Americans – the people you know from work or church or child care drop off – are hungry – really hungry.  Consider that their kids, having missed a healthy breakfast, are struggling to stay awake, much less to learn.  Then think for just a minute about how much food goes  waste – not waist –each day in our community.

October 16 is World Food Day, a day to commemorate the founding of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).  The global observance aims to raise levels of nutrition around the world, focusing on improved food production, changing agricultural policy, appropriate technology and
“a neutral environment to discuss issues around food production.”

Closer to home a host of food-related organizations are joining forces to prepare for the national feast of Thanksgiving by urging local advocates to join the Walk to End Hunger.  The goal of the Walk is to “give back before giving Thanks.”    Minnesotans may participate by walking at the Mall on Thanksgiving morning (7:00-10:00), by donating money, or by sponsoring a walker and/or designating a specific program.  Walkers may form or join a team to support the cause or a specific food shelf.   The common goal is to walk together and in the same direction.

So, enjoy your break – you deserve it.   And so do those in our communities whose health and learning skills depend on others.   The theme of the Walk says it all

Help others first. Then help yourself to seconds.