The ‘clean plate club’ revisited

Growing up, we Baby Boomers often heard our parents urge us to clean our plates because children were starving in China, or India, or some other far off country.

But we’ve known all along that hunger is a real issue in the United States, too. And a report released Nov. 16 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed that 49 million people now live in households where there sometimes isn’t enough to eat.

That’s not only the highest number reported since the government began tracking “food insecurity” 14 years ago, but also an increase of 13 million from just a year ago.

This has to be one of the most frightening statistics related to the recession. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack called these numbers “a wake-up call for the country.”

More than half a million of the U.S. households with “very low food security,” where meals are being skipped and portions cut, include children.

It’s not hard to put two and two together. Too many children are going hungry.

“Child hunger is not just a casualty of the recession,” said David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World, in a statement about the report. “It was a problem before the recession, and unless we take the necessary steps, kids will continue to suffer after the economy recovers.”

Involvement in Bread for the World, which is releasing its own annual hunger report on Nov. 23, is just one of many ways in which United Methodists can address the issue of hunger.

It’s time to step up our efforts to fill the empty plates of others.


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Local Church
Rick Reinhard. Photo by Valerie Smallwood.

A call to examine United Methodist real estate

As more houses of worship close or seek to redevelop their property, individual congregations must collect and assess data to determine their future.
Social Concerns
The Rev. Dr. William B. Lawrence. Photo by Todd W. Lawrence.

Texas abortion law threatens ministry

Early in his ministry, the Rev. Bill Lawrence served as counselor to pregnant women considering their options. Under a new Texas law, such a pastoral role could lead to lawsuits.
Evangelism
The Rev. Thomas Kim. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News

A lamentation with hope for Afghanistan

Watching the news of the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan reminds the Rev. Thomas Kim of time he spent with missionaries there following his brother-in-law’s death in a bombing.