When speaking of hunger, we are used to thinking of countries in South Asia, or Yemen, Syria, or in Latin America. This is no longer the case. Thanks to COVID-19, hunger is now a real threat in the U.S., as well.
“A wave of hunger is expected to hit Minnesota families over the next six months,” states Frank Vascellaro on CBS Minnesota, a phenomenon not seen there since The Great Depression, as families are already diluting milk to make it last longer. But it isn’t just Minnesota that’s hurting from the COVID-19 crisis. All across the country, children are going hungry. According to a new study by the nonprofit organization, Hunger Free America, child hunger has soared across America during the current health and economic crises, “with 37 percent of parents nationwide cutting the size of meals or skipping meals for their children because they did not have enough money for food in the last month.” Considering that the report was published on April 10, matters are probably even worse by now.
I have warned countless times that there will be massive job losses and people will need immediate solutions. Now it is happening as we speak. Hunger is the worst crisis that can be; a person will do anything to feed his children. If you want to devastate a country from within, don’t fight it, starve it. This is what is happening today in America.
The worst thing about the hunger crisis is not that it is happening because of an enemy from without, but simply because of absence of mutual responsibility. There is plenty of food, but it is not going where it’s needed since the people who need it can’t afford it. In such a case, the authorities should take over and guarantee that every child and every person gets food.
Once this is taken care of, authorities must engage every American in sessions that inform them about the current crisis, why people are not getting food, why they cannot find a job, and what they can expect going forward. Every resident must know that finding a job is no longer a personal problem; it is a social crisis impacting the whole world. And since the whole world is connected, a crisis in one place soon migrates to every other place.
When people grasp that everyone in society is dependent on everyone else, they will begin to change. You will begin to see more acts of mutual concern, more construction of community services established by the community and for the community. The government, for its part, must encourage and support these initiatives as they are the basis of the new society that will emerge—a society of mutual responsibility. There will simply be no other choice, no other way to survive.
Today, every American must rise above color, race, ethnicity, or class, and simply pitch in.
[Photo by Iñigo De la Maza on Unsplash]