As Urban Gleaners: Reducing Food Waste to Reduce Hunger demonstrates, food waste can be used effectively, and humanely to feed people, but it’s not a cure for hunger and food insecurity. As Tracy Oseran notes, there’s plenty of food to feed those in need, it’s really a distribution problem. How do we grapple with the sad truth that children across the country face hunger issues, and that in our state of Oregon, among the highest rates of childhood hunger in the nation?
As a people, and as a nation, why can’t we do more to help those in need to eliminate chronic hunger and food insecurity among children and adults in what many consider the richest country in the world? This is largely a political question, and one that food policy experts point to the federal Food and Farm Bill legislation as the key to providing an effective answer.
The political will in congress to help the rising tide of those in chronic need may be lacking. Perhaps, every member of congress should spend one day at their local Food Bank, or with organizations like Urban Gleaners to experience first-hand the armies of the desolate that strewn across our city streets, and bury within our rural communities— their silent, day to day struggle— to merely survive.
Only then, to allow them their vote on the nutrition assistance portion of the upcoming federal Food and Farm Bill.
It’s that damn important.