Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hunger in America? Outrageous

Try to make sense of these numbers.

An estimated 122 Americans die each day because they lack health insurance and adequate care.

Another estimated 49 million Americans endure hunger. That's one in seven Americans, according to the Agriculture Department.

Meanwhile, 44 percent of Congress—237 members out of 535—are millionaires, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, while only 1 percent of the general population is classified as millionaires.

An argument could be made that men and women who can trigger national health care for the needy and food provisions for the hungry are so wealthy they're numb to the urgent deficiencies of average households.

How outrageous and humiliating.

In anthems and legend, the United States is known far and wide as a "land of plenty." Is this now just hokum and myth?

Like their frontier forefathers, Americans in 2009 must rekindle the charitable command grounded in every Western and Eastern religion—help thy neighbor.

In the Wood River Valley, the Hunger Coalition needs food and funds to spread its well-known and highly regarded good works. Churches and various year-round provider groups—the Boise Rescue Mission and the Idaho Food Bank, to name just two—welcome contributions, as do special collection drives.

The need is great. The remedy is simple and humane.

No American can possibly sleep comfortably knowing that other Americans are going to bed with their stomachs aching for nourishment and regular meals that a "land of plenty" and its generous, charitable citizens are fully capable of providing.

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