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H is for Hunger

This A to Z post is a little different from the previous ones. And a little bit longer. Sorry.

Recently I came across a website called The Giving Table with an initiative entitled Food Bloggers Against Hunger. Their event actually took place yesterday, April 8th. (Forgetting that we don’t post on Sundays, I mistakenly planned this H post for Monday instead of Tuesday, oops.) Anyway, the idea came about after the recent release of the documentary A Place at the Table. Not exactly entertainment, but an important and moving film nonetheless. I haven’t seen it yet but I plan to, and you can watch the trailer at the link provided.

Now, I’m not a “food blogger,” but I am concerned about food and nutrition, and I consider myself pretty well-informed about a lot of health issues. The good news: a LOT of food bloggers are participating. The bad news: I want to read all their blogs now.

Childhood Hunger

It literally hurts me to think about any kid (or adult, of course) going hungry. I think about my own child and how I never would want him to experience hunger, either the physical discomfort or the emotional pain that goes along with it. We’re lucky because I don’t think he ever will, and I didn’t grow up hungry, so I’m not sure where my strong reaction is coming from.

I was raised by a single mom for the most part and, while certain periods were tough and we faced financial hardship, my family never went hungry. Sure, we might have eaten more boxed macaroni and cheese and other cheap “convenience foods” than we should have, but my mom was actually really knowledgeable about healthy foods (she worked in a health food store for a while), we had salad with dinner almost every night, and fresh fruits and vegetables were always available.

Right now money is tight in our house, but hunger is not a concern. Like many parents, I struggle with getting my son to branch out and try new things. But he loves broccoli and spinach so, really, who am I to complain? And then I read stories about kids who probably don’t have broccoli as an option, never mind any kind of breakfast in the morning before they go to school, and I just want to DO something. (But I don’t know how. Volunteer? Write to raise awareness?)

As a related project, I also would love to help my son’s school implement some sort of lunch program, just to have an alternative to always bringing lunch from home. And who knows? Maybe the other parents and students are happy with the status quo. But I’m not happy about the fact that their standard “hot lunch” choices are things like McDonalds chicken nuggets or Subway sandwiches. No, they’re not terrible options, but they could be so much better.

Your turn, readers!

This subject fascinates me, but it seems so complex. I would love to get some feedback about any or all of it. Has hunger touched your life in some way? Are you as shocked as I was to find out how many people (especially children) are living in poverty, and therefore are hungry, here in this country of wealth and excess?

Tomorrow we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled entertainment post. Thanks for reading!

And don’t forget to check out A Place at the Table.

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About katietesta

I am a mom, a wife, and a freelance writer. I love to research and have a passion for social justice and nonprofit work.

Discussion

3 thoughts on “H is for Hunger

  1. I volunteered at an orphanage in Cambodia a few years ago. I remember this little boy bawling hysterically because his friend had cheekily “stolen” a spoonful of rice from his plate. It turns out that he and his brothers were found homeless on the streets because their parents had abandoned them. So getting food was really a matter of survival for him and that is why every meal time, he’d stuff himself with a huge plate of food because he still had that mentality of eating as much while he still could. I thought that was incredibly heartbreaking, and such a contrast to “first-world” babies who are fussy eaters and find mealtimes a chore.

    Posted by mel | April 9, 2013, 11:55
    • Thanks for your comment and for the reminder that while we have serious hunger issues in our own country, the situation is magnified to a huge degree in other poverty-stricken areas. It’s heartbreaking, but I still believe that even one person can make a difference.

      Posted by katietesta | April 9, 2013, 12:01

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