Childhood Nourishment Part 4
September is Hunger Action Month
Myth Busters addition
In 2003 Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman explored the possibilities of making a 1967 Chevy Malibu fly by equipping the car with JATO rockets and if one eats Pop Rocks and drinks soda will the consumer’s stomach explode? I used to love this show. If I recall both of these myths were, “busted.” The show hosts didn’t always agree on what they thought the conclusions would be, but the facts would prove out and we would have answers.
I was working as an educational consultant as part of a team in a foreign country. The question arose as to whether America had hungry people except for those that had brought the circumstances upon themselves with foolish decisions. Once you have been to an impoverished nation you are inclined to believe this myth.
Consider for a moment someone who has a mental or physical illness. Sometimes circumstances beyond their control has placed them in very difficult circumstances. I have talked with elderly people whose medication has gone up and their income has not. Some of them have had to choose between medications and food. The list hungry people is quite long but allow me jump to children. Many children suffer because of no fault of their own. It is estimated that this year over 12 million children (and about 7 million seniors) will need food assistance. In Tennessee numbers change a little every quarter but on average about 1 in 6 children face hunger issues. The no innocent hunger myth is…
So some people reading this have experienced hunger themselves or know of someone who has. So let’s consider another myth: Hunger is only in most impoverished areas of our larger cities. Many times people who have become homeless, have physical and/or mental illnesses or suffer from substance abuse have located themselves closer to urban resources that can help bring answers. This leads us to believe that because hungry people are more visible in urban areas that there is not hunger issues in rural areas. In actuality, almost 80% of the highest hunger rates per capita are areas that are considered farming communities or rural counties. If a person has limited or no income, if that person has limited or no transportation then nutritious and affordable food is hard to acquire regularly. In one rural community in which I lived some people had to choose between rising costs of gasoline and heating fuel and how much food they could obtain for their families. The only urban hunger myth is…
Here’s the good news. We have hope. We have answers. The good people associated with the Gives Foundation have worked hard and delivered over $1.5 million in financial relief to proven agencies that are feeding hungry children. We just finished presenting another $350,000 to agencies that will spend every nickel on feeding kids and not put it into administrative costs.
You can support the foundation in feeding kids by sponsoring a fundraising event, buying chocolate at a Y-12 FCU branch, or giving directly to the Foundation and in September you can go to any branch and donate cans and dry food goods to feed children at Thrive.
Let’s work together to fight childhood hunger. Giving has been made easy.
Dr. Gary Brewster
Y-12 FCU Gives Foundation