Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
St. Matthew 5:7
This time of year you see lots of advertisements on television asking for donations to feed the hungry. We have all seen the pictures of starving African babies with big eyes and extended stomachs. What most people don't know is that there is a hunger problem right here in America. I found these statistics over at worldhunger.org
In 2010, children were food insecure at times during the year in 9.8 percent of households with children (3.9 million households.) In one percent of households with children,one or more of the children experienced the most severe food-insecure condition measured by USDA, very low food security, in which meals were irregular and food intake was below levels considered adequate by caregivers (Coleman-Jensen 2011, p. vi).
In 2010, 46.9 million people were in poverty, up from 37.3 million in 2007 -- the fourth consecutive annual increase in the number of people in poverty . This is the largest number in the 52 years for which poverty rates have been published .
- 20.5 million Americans live in extreme poverty. This means their family’s cash income is less than half of the poverty line, or about $10,000 a year for a family of four .
- 49.9 million people or 16.3 percent of the American people, do not have medical insurance .
Trade. It is important to understand some basic economics. We in the United States live in a rich country, that has a large amount of capital--machinery, etc.--to produce things relative to the amount of labor--people that want to work. Poor countries have a lot of labor, but relatively little capital. There is a basic idea of economics--the factor price equalization theorem--that states that wages in rich countries will tend to go down and increase in poor countries through trade (Wikipedia 2010b). Thus China, with low wages, puts pressure on wages in the United States, as production is shifted to China from the United States. This movement of production from richer to poorer countries is initiated by corporations, not individuals, but it does shift jobs and income to poorer countries and people, and has been doing so for the last 30 years or so. Lower income people in the United States are particularly vulnerable to such shifts.
Yes in America people are going hungry. There are children going to bed without food right in your own area.
This year my daughter's 4-H club hosted a hunters breakfast for the local hunters who come in from out of town. Half of those proceeds are donated every year to buy meat products for the Christmas baskets for the local food pantry. Children banning together to help feed their own community!
At a time when the needs are so great, many food pantries are struggling as fewer people can afford to donate.
Give a hand up to a neighbor, help feed a child. During garden season I open my garden to my neighbors once I have all that I want. My husband killed and butchered an extra deer and cut, wrapped and delivered to an elderly couple in our community.
It's a long cold winter so don't just do this during the Christmas season.
Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter