Thursday, August 11, 2011
Yay for the foodsaver - what a fabulous little device! There is something primal about saving food for the winter. Putting summer's output away for leaner times. And coming in from the garden like Miss America with a giant bouquet of nutritious greens sure gives me a luxurious feeling of abundance.
But not everyone is so lucky. Most people don't have the ability to grow and store their own food, and many people don't even get enough to eat, period. According to the USDA, an estimated 50 million people, 17 million of which are children, live in food-insecure households in America. In fact, nearly 15% of American households are food insecure. Fifteen percent.
That's...well, I was going to say "amazing" because the statistic is so stunning. But, it's not amazing. It's horrible. It's inexcusable. How is it possible that nearly one-sixth of our citizens do not have access to enough food?
Just across the border in Canada, food insecurity drops to 9%. Still too high, but only about 60% of what we tolerate here.
I'm so fortunate to live on 5 fertile acres in a mild climate, where I can raise my own meat and vegetables and help feed the people around me. This time of year, my grocery bill plunges and my family eats what's available outside. Part of how I say thank you to the universe is to share our bounty - this year, we're donating some of our produce to a girls camp that called yesterday. Two nights ago, Mark played a benefit to raise money for our local farmers market's food assistance program.
Next time you're at the farmers market or in your favorite grocery store, consider picking up a few items for your local food bank. Better yet, take a cue from my step-mom who has been feeding breakfast to those in need once a week since I've known her - and I've known her a long, long time.
No one should go hungry in a nation with so much.