Poverty is America’s No. 1 Problem
After four solid years of a Recession, 2011 ends with poverty numbers just as daunting as ever. On October 1, 2011 a desperately cash strapped Michigan (State-US) cut 30,00 people from their welfare roles, thereby giving citizens the impression that the program was “over.” 15,000 citizens are scheduled to be cut from the food stamp program. Both measures are said to be within eligibility guidelines. However, in a Recession of this magnitude, any reduction in relief from the government is taken as a great emotional blow.
In Florida (State-US), it appears that the government is attempting to discourage future applicants with a sliding scale drug test. Citizens seeking relief are charged between $25 to $35 to access very little in benefits, $250?
In Georgia (State-US), Youtube videos are surfacing of local newscasts. Citizens vent their frustration over not being able to receive vitally needed supportive services. Due to 13.9 million Americans being out of work, there is very little 43.6 million Americans feel they can do to resolve their financial stress.
I will attempt in this post to minimize the statistics (laugh), especially since I am finding that they do not move citizens into action. While statistics might be the language of federal grants, non-profit reports and newscasts, they ring hollow in most people’s ears. Like the national debt, the average American cannot wrap their minds around the concept that almost 20 million American children are hungry against their childish will.
The producers at the media giant ABC have come to the same conclusion. On August 24, 2011 they did what I have yet to see any other media giant do: exposed the American
public to what the face of child hunger looks like.
He is an absolutely beautiful little boy. It took me a second to figure out why the ABC network filmed him dressed in a hospital gown. The child, receiving a wellness check-up represents the (upwards of) 19.5 million children struggling with hunger in America. He had known the biting pangs of physical deprivation every day of his life up to the age of two years old; to the point that his brain and internal organs were not developing properly. In other words, he was physically too skinny to film without his hospital gown.
He is being treated – medically – for “failure to thrive.” Unfortunately, he is living in Boston, Massechusetts.
Yes, inside the United States; not Somalia.
Childhood hunger is becoming such a living reality for so many children that Sesame Street introduced a character to represent them!
Stories like this one broadcast by ABC reminded me why a grassroots movement to address childhood is so necessary. Government-based leadership appears impotent to resolve the problems associated with increasing Citizens’ participation in available programs. Without the efforts of altruistic activists – volunteering their time, talent and energies in food banks, pantries and blogs like this one – millions of children will not receive the nutrition desperately needed to make a contribution to our community as adults.
With that being said, Sir/Ma’am will you please conduct a Peanut Butter Drive in your community? See the tab at the top of the blog? Please use it.