Hunger In America

(thanks Jeannie for the article!)

Food writer and one of my personal aspirations, Mark Bittman (a cook, writer, and lover of food, and another cool not-a-chef like most of us) posted an article regarding the hunger crisis in America entitled: ‘I Eat and Mom Doesn’t: Growing Up Hungry in America’.  

Try to take a look at it when you get a moment. It’s a reflection upon the poverty hunger epidemic in America, which is increased much in the last few years. Where lucky folks like us are fortunate to have plenty of food in our lives to taste, cook, and blog about for our own adventures, there are plenty others in America alone who barely have enough to get through a month. Just another grain of being grateful added to the sandglass, for sure.

I remember when I was beginning a classroom assistant job in the city around the time I was about 23, a few of us who were just hired bonded together about just how bad the job was, went off for lunch together, and would of course get on the train after work was done for the day and go off once again how the day was. Most of all, it was payday that was the worst, due to the mere fact that they were so disorganized they couldn’t pay us on time. At the time, I didn’t look at it as a big deal so much as an annoyance, but one of my co-workers did.

One day in the usual walk to the station with one of my fellow assistants, she was more fired up than usual. Of course, payday came and went and we were told of a delay on all our checks. We decided to take a little longer walk to the next subway stop so she could calm down, and basically she broke down and told me how she’d been feeding her kids ramen noodles for days until she was supposed to get paid. With every delay (and it was a few days), and in-between all the expenses from doctors’ appointments to doing laundry as a single mom, pretty much she had no idea where the kids’ next meal was going to come from. I’ll admit, at the time I looked at her and was a bit skeptical .. she was employed after all and always seemed to hold a good amount of confidence. But here she was, telling me flat-out that she didn’t have enough to put food on the table for her family, and if they kept up with these delays, she wasn’t sure what she was going to do.

The end of the story has me offering her $10-dollars, her thanking me profusely and promising to pay me back, but I’d decided to leave that job the following week so I never got it back. Did I really care or did I know for sure if she was feeding her kids with that $10? I’ll never know. But if it was $10 for my own food for thought at that time, I could deal with that.