DN Editorial: Join the Stamping Out Hunger food drive
TWO WEEKS AGO, when President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden, he said the well-planned and well-executed operation that carried out the killing was proof that “America can do whatever we set our mind to.”
If we believe that, it must mean that we really need to set our mind to ensuring that every child in America has enough to eat: 50 million Americans, including 17.2 million children, suffer from “food insecurity” – that is, they lack the amount and quality of food to stay healthy.
Tomorrow, Stamp Out Hunger, the nation’s largest annual food drive, allows individual Americans to help others who don’t have enough food. You can help by leaving a sturdy bag of nonperishable foods – canned soup or vegetables, pasta, rice or cereal – next to your mailbox for your letter carrier to collect and deliver to Philabundance for distribution in the Delaware Valley.
Also, for every person who joins the cause on Facebook (www.Facebook.com/StampOutHunger), the Campbell Soup Co. will donate one pound of food to the Feeding America food-bank network. Over the last 18 years, the unions, corporate sponsors and individuals participating in this drive have donated, collected and distributed nearly a billion pounds of food.
Unfortunately, worsening statistics provide strong evidence that, while food drives can help, they won’t eliminate the shame of children going hungry in this country.
Americans’ generous impulse is not reflected in the recent vote in Congress to strip $500 million from the WIC nutrition program for pregnant women, infants and small children or the continuing assaults on other programs for struggling families such as food stamps, health programs and aid for home heating oil. (The action came just a few weeks after Congress voted to maintain $1 trillion in tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans.)
It’s essential to strengthen the social safety net that keeps people from going hungry today, but why can’t we finally put our mind to creating the kind of economy that makes it possible for every family to earn enough money to feed their children?