It’s almost Thanksgiving. No school! Kids are excited! Parents, maybe not so much, but not for the usual reasons of wondering how we’ll fill the time. For millions of parents, kids at home means kids to feed and with a continuing recession and rising food prices, that’s not always easy.
According to the US Agriculture department, in 2009, 50 million households, that’s 15 percent of all families in the US, were food insecure. In other words, those households weren’t sure if they’d have enough money for food or flat out couldn’t buy enough to feed their families.
Reading about how bad school lunches are, it’s easy to forget that, along with school breakfasts, they do something really important: Feed kids. Thirty million of them. These days, many people who might never have thought that they’d need food support now find themselves relying on it to feed their families.
So when we think about school lunches, it’s very important to focus on what kids are eating, but it’s also important to recognize that kids need to eat.
Honestly, right about now I’d love to launch into a big tirade about Goldman Sachs and Wall Street bonuses, not to mention the argument over extending the Bush tax cuts and who really decimated the budget and created this damaging recession and how we might help people who are suffering because of it, but I won’t. We need to focus on the positive!
During this holiday season families who can work at food pantries, donate to food and money to food banks, and help out at soup kitchens. This is crucial because when school’s out, food banks report more people come in.
Food banks get a lot of money and food from the government and from private donors. Supporting them won’t change the basic problem of food insecurity and hunger in the land of plenty, but families who will struggle through the end of the year need all the hands-on help they can get. To find a food bank near you, click here.
Is volunteering or donating food/money part of your family’s holiday tradition?
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