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January 3, 2010

A wish for the new year: no child hungry

Glocester food pantry

Are you hungry?

Craving a mid-morning snack? Needing a nosh after a session at the gym? Wishing you could sit down to dinner instead of sitting in a late meeting at work?

What will you do to satisfy your hunger?

And, is it really hunger?

According to Share Our Strength, hunger is "the uneasy or painful sensation caused by a recurrent or involuntary lack of access to food. Many scientists consider hunger to be chronically inadequate nutritional intake due to low income, not just lack of food. This means that people can be hungry from a nutritional perspective without experiencing physical pain."

Hungry and hunger. Entirely different.

When I started writing my first post of each year about childhood hunger, the number of kids in America at risk of hunger was pegged at 14 million.

Now it's 12 million.

The reality is that nearly one in six kids in America still experiences hunger. 

The Perfect Pantry has a longstanding commitment to Share Our Strength, a nonprofit organization that invests in the most effective local and national nonprofits working to guarantee that families at risk of hunger receive critical support, and that kids receive the nutritious food they need.

Please take a few minutes, with your morning tea or coffee, to watch this short video.

What can you do in 2010 to make sure no child goes hungry? 

Support a community garden. Teach your kids about nutrition. Donate to your town's food pantry (that's the food pantry in my town, in the top photo). Volunteer for Operation Frontline. Contact your elected representatives. Write or blog about childhood hunger issues.

It takes more than money to end hunger.

Please share your strength.

I wish each of you a happy, healthy, creative, fun, absolutely scrumptious new year. You are, as always, the most important ingredient in The Perfect Pantry.

Comments

No child should have to go hungry in the States or anywhere. Thanks for bringing this root problem closer to home Lydia.

Good to know there is some progress, but there is still so much work to be done.

I think these are wonderful ideas all, Lydia. It's something I've thought about but not taken much action on. I think his is the year to do a little (or a lot, if time and budget permit.)

Thanks for reminding us that we can all do our share.

That's an alarming statistic and a persuasive video. I've posted it to facebook and twitter and will personally look into Operation Frontline.

Just thought I'd come back to tell you that I filled out a volunteer application at Operation Frontline -- so posts like this do motivate.

Thank you, Lydia. I have seen the Share Our Strength promos on the Food Network, but I didn't know how well they operated. Childhood hunger should not happen in this country of abundance.

My grandmother told me a story, from her childhood in a Ukraine shtetl, about a night when they had only a loaf of bread for dinner. A nearby widow and her family had no food, so my grandmother's mother gave them their bread, and that night my grandmother went hungry. As a child, she was angry at her mother, but as an adult she told me that story with pride. It is a tradition I would like to continue.

A friend and I created a committee at our Friends school that supports families in the community in times of crisis. Volunteers make meals, run errands, invite children home for play dates, and more. It has been so moving to me to see how happy people are to step up, to help. I am going to see whether we can organize a service activity of some kind to share our strength. Lydia, thanks for the inspiration.

Thanks for creating attention for this issue. I think it's one of the pressing problems of our time.

Thank you for this post and ideas of how to help out.

Paz

Fantastic post! I am a big supporter of SOS and am looking forward to new ways to help the fight against childhood hunger in 2010! Looking forward to my annual bake sale and hoping to find a way to get involve with operation front line!

Myta, thank you so much for letting me know that this post resonated with you.

Val, TW, Mae, Paz: We all know this is not an issue only for the US, and that there is so much work to be done. Thank you for sharing your strength.

Jerry, even a seemingly small thing, like writing a post once a year, makes a difference. Thanks so much for reading this.

Joan, I'm grinning from ear to ear.

Judy, it's you -- and your great-grandmother -- who inspires me.

Jen, since moving to Rhode Island, where there's no resident Operation Frontline program, I've tried to find other ways to help. I had a great time as an Operation Frontline volunteer for 15 years and hope they will return to RI soon.

What a great post. I was shocked when I recently heard that 1 out of 8 people in Utah doesn't have enough food. I always donate money, but we all need to do more!

Thanks for reminding us that no matter how we are billed as the richest and most powerful country, the U.S. suffers the same social maladies as many other places. I was glad to read in a recent article in the New York Times that food stamps have lost their stigma. High time, but it's distressing that so many have to apply for them in the first place.

Lydia,
Thank you for posting this. The problem is very real and often surprises folks. They think hunger happens in developing countries like Africa -- not the US. But with people like you helping to raise awareness of the issue, I know we'll defeat this by 2015.

Cheers,
Jeff

Lots of work to be done. Happy new Year to you!

Thanks for sharing, i will pass this good article to other of my friends. Together, we could help reduce the number of hunger children.

Everyone can do something to help. I made a short video to help get the message across. It's a bit graphic and not for kids.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=12zHEN4nsgI

Same here! No parents want their child to be hungry.

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About The Perfect Pantry®

  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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