I got a visit from a politician today, asking for my vote.
I simply couldn’t help myself so I told him about the hungry in America. It was easy to talk about the one in seven seniors in our country who don’t have enough to eat. And I talked about the one in five children in our country who don’t have enough to eat either.
This young politician is interested in the welfare of Americans and talked a lot about health care and jobs and equal pay. He talked about funding for seniors and programs for seniors. He discussed everything but food. Frankly, there was not one mention of food.
And, I stood there and listened to the speech and just couldn’t stand it any more.
Until this young man really sees hunger for what it is, he’ll never know the real situation for what it is. It may be years (or maybe never) before he realizes how hard it is for the elderly to get food when their shoulders and knees don’t work, they no longer drive, and they live in a food desert.
Routinely, seniors choose between food and transportation, food and housing, food and health care.
Few know about food pantries and hunger unless they work and shop in one. Beyond that, a food pantry is hidden. People shopping in one certainly don’t tell anyone where they get their groceries. And, those working in one don’t talk much either.
Pantry food distributed to families helps children learn better in school and help their parents work harder at the many jobs they hold down.
When people come to a pantry, they can forget for a while their situation often means they pay more for what they get if they live in a food desert. And that, at times, they simply get less because the food may not be available in their neighborhood.
Often, they do without if they have no access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Instead, they go through the pantry line and leave with foods they could not otherwise buy.
On behalf of everyone who shops or volunteers at a food pantry, I offer gratitude for the wonderful food available to the many hungry people who need it.
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