Where’s Our Ardor?

Anti-hunger organizations are doing something new. They’re trying to go beyond the idea of just providing food for the needy. It’s not enough for them to feed people today, they are trying to make sure those people can have access to food tomorrow. As a result they’re promoting community gardens, sustainable agriculture, relationships between farmers and communities, economic justice for food producers. The organizations are after food security and believe all these, along with similar efforts, are part of one day getting there. They face big obstacles, particularly at a time when the economy is still contracted. One is complacency. After the holidays, will people forget hunger and what they ought to do about it? The latest USDA annual report reports the highest rate of food insecurity in the country, one in seven households or 17 million households cannot be sure they will not go hungry or have enough nutritious food. What’s more, this figure is much higher than the 13 million households in 2007. When new guidelines for mammos were issued recently and people felt threatened by them, they rose, rejected them with sufficient gusto, the government panel rescinded them. Where’s the same ardor when it comes to hunger, to the existence of food insecurity in a land of plenty? Why are we handling hunger differently than a recommendation for mammos?