Sunday, April 7, 2013

Let's End Hunger in America. AGAIN

 You need to see A Place at the Table.*  And then you need to show it at your churches.  And then we need to mobilize to convince our worthless congress to do something that has proven to solve hunger (or "food insecurity" which is the new word for it) in our country.  We've done it before, we can do it again.

Back in the 70s I was pretty into World Hunger and especially Bread for the World.  I was always organizing Offerings of Letters.  And this is the thing I didn't realize but was pointed out in this movie.   We actually pretty much solved the hunger problem in the United States.  I know to hear the Right Wing mantra of what a failure the "welfare state" was and what a waste the war of poverty was, you problably didn't realize this.  But between food stamps, WIC and school lunches, people stopped being hungry.  We still had poverty and unemployment and drugs and racism and all kinds of problems that are harder to solve.  But at least people were not hungry.  And you have eat before you can do anything else.

And then the 80s.  And Reagan who everyone thinks was such a hero.  And complaints about "big government".  And food stamps and school lunches were defunded.  And now people, children, go to bed hungry.  In this country.

And now the popular thing is to say "Let the private sector take care of it"  Let the churches feed people.  This is the thing, churches ARE feeding people.  Churches and charities are making a herculean effort.  If churches and charities could solve the problem, they would have.  People are not hungry because Christians don't care.  This is what solves hunger in America - Government programs like food stamps, WIC and school lunches (funded at more than 90 cents a meal)  That's the truth.

Yes there are more complicated and difficult issues like our Agriculture polices.  But I think we can start by making people understand what a difference we can do by funding food stamps and school lunches.  It's a start.  Let's go back to offerings of letters.  Let's sponsor more Lutheran, Catholic, Presbyterian, Episcopalian, Jewish, whatever, Day on the Hill, where we all advocate for doing what we did before, ending hunger in America.  We did it before.  We can do it again.  Or least we can try.

* Information on public screenings of A Place at the Table here.

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