Most Americans have never been without food but the number is growing. Many adults go without food often but the real concern here is children doing without food, going to bed hungry most days of their lives.
Because children are in the process of growing, a lack of nutritious food can affect a child’s growth in very negative ways that will permanently damage their brains and their bodies. Children who lack a good healthy diet because of poverty and not educated well about eating healthy are more apt to have serious problems later in life such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Just because a child is overweight doesn’t mean they’re getting plenty to eat, just that they’re getting plenty of the wrong things to eat.
Fox News host and radio personality Sean Hannity said recently that “Americans are not going to bed hungry” He goes on to talk about friends of his that eat rice and beans and claims that people can survive on rice and beans which are very inexpensive. Of course, he also said “Look, you should have vegetables and fruit in there as well, but if you need to survive you can survive off it. It’s not ideal but you could get some cheap meat and throw in there as well for protein. There are ways to live really, really cheaply.”
Speaking from experience, rice and beans may go a long ways but they’re far from the nutrition that children need for healthy balanced diets and healthy lives. Coming from conservatives; those who spend so much of their energy opposing abortion, this is a typical denial to avoid responsibility for hungry children in this country. Supporting anti-abortion is a good way to show oneself as a caring and concerned citizens but it comes with no responsibility to the children who are already born and aren’t getting enough to eat.
According to statistics, in 2010, 48.8 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 32.6 million adults and 16.2 million children.
Children are our most precious commodity and the future of America. Every child deserves to have enough to eat no matter how poor they are. They also deserve more than “beans and rice” as Mr. Hannity suggested.
Certainly, children who grow up in poor countries such as some countries on the continent of Africa, suffer more than our American children could ever suffer as hunger in some places results in eventual death from lack of food. Many of those children would be overjoyed with what we Americans throw into our garbage cans.
Still, there are children in this country who do go to bed hungry most nights and some of them can’t wait until they go to school so that they can partake in free lunch programs. These programs are vital for children as sometimes it’s the only real meal they’re getting all day.
Many of those on the right who deny there is hunger in America and then works to pass legislation to end social programs that the poor depend on, comforts themselves with taking a stand against abortion. What would be very telling is the fact that if they had their way and they were able to stop all abortions in this country, the number of children in poverty would grow as the very children that Republicans worked so hard to protect from abortion, most would end up on the welfare rolls and many would barely survive on what little they have to eat.
Let us first look out for the welfare of the children who are already here before we concern ourselves with children who have yet to be born. Let’s give our kids everything they need to live prosperous and healthy lives. Let’s do much more than provide them with rice and beans, because we want our children to have the best education and the best minds to take full advantage of the education we do provide them. Let’s make our children our number one priority, no matter how poor they are, by giving them everything they need to become the shining future of America.