I was talking with a relative earlier in the week. He had just got back from his church where they were putting together Thanksgiving dinners for the poor. The goal was to feed 60 families. They had enough for 200. The church had to call area schools and other social organizations to find families who needed food. I was told the only problem with feeding the hungry is getting the food to the people. Volunteers to take the food to the people are what is in short supply. So I asked what is keeping the poor from going to the food? After some silence, I was told, nothing... anyone in America who does not have enough to eat simply is not making an effort.
Not two days later, I was reading Newsweek and as always I turned to the back to see if this was George Will's week or if I was going to be disappointed in seeing Anna Quindlen. Sure enough, it is Anna "Bash Bush" Quindlen's week. I was planning on doing what I usually do with her column, not waste my time, but noticed it was about hunger in America. Specifically how worse off the poor are doing today:
The poor could be forgiven for feeling somewhat poorer nowadays. The share of the nation's income going to the top 1 percent of its citizens is at its highest level since 1928, just before the big boom went bust. But poverty is not a subject that's been discussed much by the current administration, who were wild to bring freedom to the Iraqis but not bread to the South Bronx. "Hunger is hard for us as a nation to admit," says Clyde Kuemmerle, who oversees the volunteers at Holy Apostles. "That makes it hard to talk about and impossible to run on."
There were a number of shots at the "current administration" and the "feds" which is to be expected from her. So I decided to take a look around on the internet and I came across this article that talks about lack of hunger in America.
This week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released its annual report on household food security in the United States. According to USDA, some 12.5 million households, or roughly 11 percent of all households, experienced "household food insecurity" at some point in 2006 and some 35 million people lived in households with some form of food insecurity. Most of these households were low income. The report showed little change in food security levels in the U.S. over the last decade.
According to the USDA, "food insecurity" is usually a recurring and episodic problem rather than a chronic condition. In 2006, around two-thirds of food insecure households experienced "low food security," meaning that these households managed to avoid any disruption or reduction in food intake throughout the year but were forced by financial pressures to reduce "variety in their diets" or rely on a "few basic foods" at various times in the year. According to the USDA, the remaining one-third of food insecure households (around 4 percent of all households) experienced "very low food security," meaning that at least once in the year their actual intake of food was reduced due to a lack of funds for food purchase. At the extreme, about 1.4 percent of all adults in the U.S. went an entire day without eating at least once during 2006 due to lack of funds for food.
What is rarely discussed is that the government's own data show that the overwhelming majority of food insecure adults are, like most adult Americans, overweight or obese. Among adult males experiencing food insecurity, fully 70 percent are overweight or obese. Nearly three-quarters of adult women experiencing food insecurity are either overweight or obese, and nearly half (45 percent) are obese. Virtually no food insecure adults are underweight.
Contrary to the claims of poverty advocates, the major dietary problem facing poor Americans is too much, not too little, food. Public policies should be directed toward encouraging the poor to avoid chronic over-consumption, exercise more, and reduce intake of foods rich in fat and added sugar.
If you do not believe me, listen to Chris Rock, start @ 7:20. Just remember it is Chris Rock, this is your official content warning.
Happy Thanksgiving, do not eat to much.