Hunger Is Not a Disease

What Inspires me in the Fight Against Hunger

Well, actually, it isn’t necessarily what.  It’s more likely who.  The first line of leadership inspiration is the hungry people in the food pantry line.  A food pantry really is all about the people grappling with hunger.

But, where did this whole thing actually begin?  For me, it all started with Robert F. Kennedy.  In 1967, he traveled to Mississippi to see poverty and hunger for what it was.  Being a wealthy man from a wealthy family, he actually had no idea.

Down there he saw  hunger and poverty for what it was, not what he thought it should be.  He saw people, elderly people, adults, children.  He saw people with no jobs, no welfare, no surplus commodities, and no food stamps.

If the history books tell this story  correctly, it was the children who got to him.  He saw the hunger as it was. Seeing children hungry to the point of near starvation,  Robert F. Kennedy came face-to-face with malnutrition.

Robert F. Kennedy was both moved and angry.

There is a book out there  telling the story of their  hunger.  You may or may not ever have heard about this book.  “So Rich, So Poor” was written by Peter Edelman.

In reading about Robert F. Kennedy, I read a paragraph which has meaning for me:

“All of us, from the wealthiest to the young children that I have seen in this country, in this year, bloated by starvation – we all share one precious possession, and that is the name American.

“It is not easy to know what that means.

“But in part to be an American means to have been an outcast and a stranger, to have come to the exiles’ country, and to know that he who denies the outcast and stranger still amongst us, he also denies America.”

Those words resonate with me.  They may  mean nothing to you.  But, whether or not they have meaning for you, they are powerful words and they tell a story I see in the food pantry line.

I thank you for reading this blog post.  I thank you for your interest in fighting hunger.  I know that distributing food in a food pantry is not going to do away with hunger.

But, this I do know:  Distributing food in a food pantry will keep the shoppers in that line from starvation for three days.

This is all I can do.  This has to be enough until a better option comes along.

Thurman Greco

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