Food and Insecurity
The images of Thanksgiving are of smiling families and abundant food, for which we are grateful. But we cannot accept that in our great city and our great country, too many people do not know where their next meal is coming from.
Many of those are children. Over fifteen million American children are going hungry. In our city alone. One in five children relies on emergency food. Seventy per cent of low income families have difficulty affording food. More than 500,000 children in New York City lived below the poverty level in 2011, and took advantage of school lunches. In Brooklyn alone, the percentage of people that were food insecure rose 8.7% from 2009 to 2014. In our city of abundance, this is outrageous. It is un-American. It’s not our values. These are our neighbors. They live only a few blocks away.
We applaud the many inventive and effective non-profits that are helping. Food Bank, City Harvest, God’s Love We Deliver, and The Holy Apostle Soup Kitchen are heroes all, and only a few of the many, many organizations that will do their best to provide a Thanksgiving for those in need.
But the problem is bigger than all of them collectively can address. It may take a long time, and more heavy lifting from the federal government, to address the root causes of poverty and homelessness, and the hunger that goes along with those conditions. But that does not mean we can’t feed more people, now.