Invite the Lead Coordinator to YOUR Neighborhood
The Problem Defined. Just like emotionally-charged religious ideals, American politics is a rough and tumble sport. Debate over the even the most mundane of issues becomes an exhausting, polarizing exercise. Republicans and Democrats attempt valiantly to demonize the ideas of the other side, so much so that the populace experiences serious bouts of depression, believing that the government is completely incompetent.
Within the By2015:AMERICA movement, emotions become raw due to the denial of child hunger. Despite religious appeals to lift up the “least of these” within local communities, food banks and food pantries across the nation report inadequate resources to address the 1 out of 6 Americans who reluctantly attend their distribution sites. Rationalizations are created that feeding the hungry is the responsibility of grant-sponsoring foundations and charity organizations. Some argue that if such organizations do not have the money or manpower to address the issue, than the issue cannot be addressed. “What can I, as one person, do? It is taking everything that I have to maintain my own household. When I am rich, then, I can help you feed children. Until then, I cannot help. I love you and I do not want children to be hungry, but, I cannot help right now.”
Talk show radio hosts help this rationalization by painting a picture of a lazy parent, who relies on governmental programs to do what the parent is fully capable of doing. This is justified because American hunger doesn’t look like it does in (so-called) third world countries. The Center for American Progress wrote in their October 2011 report, Hunger in America: Suffering We All Pay For, “We see neither newscasts showing small American children with distended bellies nor legions of thin, frail people lined up at soup kitchens. That’s primarily because the expansion of the critical federal nutrition assistance program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, helped many families meet some of their household food needs.”
“But in spite of the increase in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding, many families still have to make tough choices between a meal and paying for other basic necessities. In 2010 nearly half of the households seeking emergency food assistance reported having to choose between paying for utilities or heating fuel and food. Nearly 40 percent said they had to choose between paying for rent or a mortgage and food. More than a third reported having to choose between their medical bills and food.”
Government is not meeting the need. Okay, why are families having to make such choices if the governmental programs designed to prevent poverty have offices that are open? The answer is something called a five year Recession. As of October 2012, only five out of 50 states are economically solvent, meaning that they are operating in the black inside of the red. Those states are: Alaska, Texas, Louisiana, North Dakota and the “District of Columbia.” All five states are completely dependent on two funding sources: oil tax revenue and federal dollars flowing through their economies. Internal businesses are not providing sufficient tax revenue to meet the needs of state operating budgets.
Again, the fact that Americans are fighting to survive in a Recession is known. And, it is rationalized. The fact that Mississippi has a median household (that means more than one person living in one house/apartment) income of $36,919 falls on deaf ears. 2 out of every 10 citizens living in Mississippi live at a poverty line of $11,170. The average $137 in food stamps that the household receives is not shielding the children who are hungry in Mississippi.
Repeat the above scenario for West Virginia and Arkansas. In fact, the South has 18.3 million American living at the poverty line. Please note that these are general numbers. If you go specific, say to African American households, 4 out of 10 households in Mississippi live at the poverty line. They share this fate in Arkansas. In West Virginia, 3 out of 10 live at the poverty line. In total, 1 out of 3 African American children are hungry compared to 1 out of 5 nationally. 90% of them will witness a parent dependent on food stamps to feed them, instead of a job.
Because money speaks loudly to governmental beauracrats, The Center for American Progress estimates that failing to prevent hunger costs Mississippi, $2.09 billion annually in unpaid medical bills, unabsorbed education and undiagnosised mental illness. Arkansas’s bill is $400 million and West Virginia needs $1.07 billion.
Again, this is falling on deaf ears.
A Solution Exists. Rather than continue doing what is not working, especially when the mental ability of American children is on the line, the By2015:AMERICA movement put forth a National Plan Addressing Child Hunger during Hunger Action Month 2012. We seek to implement that plan. This means formulating innovative partnerships between spiritual centers, businesses and community-based feeding programs. It means leveraging the access provided by social media to organize around entrenched leadership which does not possess the vision to address the problem of child hunger.
To facilitate the National Plan, the Lead Coordinator of the By2015:AMERICA, Kokayi Nosakhere, created an e-book entitled, Start Where You Are. The book clearly communicates what is needed to access the opportunity for economic advancement still possible in America. He is also available for “organizing” workshops, presentations and motivational lectures. The Lead Coordinator asks interested food pantries and food banks to contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 907-884-4710.