of Harry's favorite lines when talking about hunger went like this,
"You want to know what is really obscene? Hunger. Hunger is an obscenity
and hunger in America is the ultimate obscenity."
would Harry think now about hunger in our great country? Today,
30 million people in America are food insecure, and 12 million of
them are children. That means that they often do not know where
their next meal is coming from, have to skip meals, or eat much
less than they need.
has been done to fight hunger in America in the past twenty years
of which Harry would have been proud. I know all of us at World
Hunger Year (WHY) are proud of the following two significant achievements:
nutrition programs like school lunch, school breakfast, after school
meals, the Summer feeding programs, senior meals, food stamps, and
WIC (Women, Infants and Children Feeding Program) help tens of millions
to avoid hunger.
hundred food banks, including two founded by WHY, provide food to
more than 50,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters,
and Meals On Wheels programs that serve millions more.
these are our great successes in fighting hunger in America, you
might ask why do we still have so many hungry people? Here are several
of the major reasons:
Wages for most workers have not grown beyond inflation in the past
30 years. American workers need a raise.
The costs of housing, health care, child care, and higher education
Benefits have been cut for most workers, especially health care
and pensions. - Unemployment insurance provides less money (after
inflation) per week for fewer weeks.
Welfare payments are smaller for less time and cover fewer people.
by Joan Beder
short, the economy is not designed to provide a living wage for
a majority of American families, and the so-called "safety net,"
which is supposed to supplement wages in a time of need, has increasingly
can supporters of WHY do to "make a difference" (one of Harry's
favorite terms)? Volunteer your time or talents to help a hunger
or poverty organization in your community. If you don't know one,
our online database and we can connect you to excellent people.
Let your voice be heard. Write to the President, your congress members,
governor, and state and local legislators about draconian budget
cuts that are being proposed on federal, state, and local levels.
WHY can tell you about the Federal cuts to oppose. You can ask your
local organizations about the state and local issues.
READ and DISCUSS the issues. Start by going to our website at http://www.worldhungeryear.org
to learn more. We should not live in a society that tolerates hunger
when we can solve the problem.
Ayres is Co-Founder & Executive Director of WHY (World Hunger Year).