Where do we go from here?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Food Crisis Abroad and at Home

Well, looks like Tankwoman has beaten me to the post I have been mulling for a couple of days now....the one about the food crises taking place all over the Third World. In places where people already mainly live on beans and rice, or some local equivalent, these bottom line staples have been priced out of sight. It's not just the petroleum it takes to produce and ship them, it's also a consequence of what is happening vis-à-vis "alternative fuel," to wit: ethanol. Which is a subject for a whole other, and quite lengthy, post. The food crises in Africa, Asia, and, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Haiti, didn't just come out of left field yesterday, they have been growing and worsening for several months now.

For the past two weeks Bill Moyers' Journal has focused on hunger, both in the Third World and right here at home. Two weeks ago the program was about the Congo, where the hunger is mainly a consequence of the unending wars taking place there; last Friday the focus was on hunger in the USA, and the struggles that foodbanks and food pantries all over this country are experiencing as they try to feed the people in their neighborhoods. People right here in Washington, and New York and Chicago and Albuquerque and Boston can't afford to buy bread, or rice or milk, and the food pantries can't afford to keep those staples on their shelves, let alone get any fresh vegetables, fruit or protein to offer their needy clients. No, we are not yet approaching the sort of situation happening in Haiti or Thailand or The Congo, but it is, perhaps, only a matter of time.Please go to Bill's website and watch the past two weeks' shows if you missed them when they were broadcast.

With Tankwoman I have to say that as I find out more about the real hunger all around me, my own full pantry and refrigerator, my ability to purchase just about anything I want to eat, is currently making me feel a lot less hungry and certainly a lot less smug about all those organic veggies and fruit I like to be able to buy. On the Moyers Journal Blog right now there is a guest post by David Beckham, president of Bread for the World, called A Chance to Help Those Who Need It Most. Beckham was Moyers' guest on the two shows I have mentioned here. He is a minister and an economist, and in his Moyers guest post he trains his attention on the Farm Bill currently threshing its way through Congress. He has suggestions for what we can do to get a farm bill passed that will help feed those in this great need. Until such a bill is passed, also please consider locating your local foodbank (mine is charmingly called "The Roadrunner Foodbank,"in honor of our goofy state bird), and donating on a regular basis, even, if you have the time, volunteering there as well. Foodbanks and food pantries in all of our cities are shutting down because they can't keep food on the shelves. They are the last beacon of hope for many...please help keep them lit.


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