I just returned from San Diego where I had the chance to meet with 15 other Feeding America CEO’s for 2 ½ days. We talked about a lot of topics unique to our shared world of food banks. However we also talked at length about the lingering effects of the recession, and how growing income inequality in our country is impacting our work in so many ways.
We watched the following video, and I wanted to share it with you as well. I felt all kinds of things after seeing this – including feeling outraged and stupefied that this is the world we’ve created. More than anything, though, this video made me feel more committed to stopping hunger than ever before.
So what connection do I see between income inequality and hunger?
Food banks and meal programs are often the first stop for people facing a crisis like unemployment, large medical bills, etc. In fact one of our goals as a food bank network is to help people get food so they can focus their limited resources on maintaining housing, transportation, etc. However, as more people among the “middle class” struggle to keep themselves out of poverty, the strain on our food bank network increases.
There are a lot of people who need help these days, and I don’t think that’s going to change any time soon. But the good news is your support makes a difference for hundreds of thousands of people every day. Whether you are a donor, volunteer, or an engaged community member, you can join our efforts to create a large scale solution to hunger.
But what about you?
What did you think when you watched the video? Did it make you think about the difference between perception and reality in our society? Did it make you think about the stories we tell ourselves about poverty, hard work, and determination? I would love to hear what you think, feel free to reach out to me.