17 Million American Families are Food Insecure

Obama-Biden Transition Project

The Obama family volunteering at a food pantry, Thanksgiving 2008.

Two days before a holiday which results in, if not celebrates overeating, I’m reading the Washington Post’s “5 Myths about hunger in America“. The dissonance I feel is like a bucket of ice water to the face:

The person most likely to be hungry is a single, working mother. Federal programs ensure that low-income children can get free meals at school, but their mothers – many of whom are single and work low-paying jobs in the service sector – often have to make tough choices between food, rent, gas for the car, health care or new shoes for their kids. Millions of American women who face this predicament will feed their children and go without meals themselves.

Another tragedy in America is the rapidly growing number of seniors who have to choose between food, medicine and utilities. Though few of our elders will admit to needing help, a 2007 study by Meals on Wheels indicated that as many as 6 million are going hungry. Meanwhile, that free food-delivery service has waiting lists in many cities. The 80 million baby boomers approaching retirement are expected to live longer than any previous generation, but not all have set aside enough resources for their final years. When that silver tsunami strikes, hunger will come with it.