Hunger is a global nightmare - one that is not foreign to the United States.
However, the nature of hunger is different in the United States than it is in the rest of the world.
Hunger in the United States is a silent disease - one that affects millions of Americans. The signs of hunger can sometimes be hard to detect because many a times people are too proud to tell or publicly recognize that they need food. Their need for help may have been triggered by the death of a loved one or the loss of a job. They are, nonetheless, quietly suffering and seeking assistance from the hundreds of hunger-relief agencies.
Hunger doesn't only affect the poor, but they are also working and middle-class people. In 2009, more than 37 million Americans sought food assistance from Feeding America—The Nation's Food Bank Network.
Hunger is a vivid reality in Webb County and surrounding south Texas communities.
Our poverty rate is just under 33%! This means that one out of every three citizens in our area lives in poverty and more than likely have a tough time keeping his or her family fed. Even more alarming is the fact that about 42% of all children enrolled in public schools in Laredo are living at or below the poverty level! This means that one out of every three citizens in our area lives in poverty and more than likely have a tough time keeping his or her family fed.
Our food banks report an average 15 – 20 percent increase in visitors compared to a year ago. Ninety percent of our food banks say that food prices are causing higher demand for assistance. Eighty-three percent of food banks say they are having trouble meeting new demands for support.
This is why it is so crucial to get involved in the fight against hunger. Imagine will happen to our families, children and senior citizens who are dealing with hunger if no one gets involved? We shudder to think about what it’s like to starve to death, but without involvement from those who have been blessed with good jobs and good education, that’s exactly what will happen.
We can all make a difference. There are plenty of food resources available and we all —individuals, corporations, community organizations, and government programs— can help get these resources to the people who need it.
Won't you join the fight against hunger today?