Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Just in time for Thanksgiving, the USDA has announced that it has eliminated hunger in the United States. This will certainly be good news to the nearly 100 persons we feed every week at our church. Or is it?
As it turns out, the only thing Bush has eliminated is the word "hunger" from the government's vocabulary. Because hunger is such an unscientific word, that condition will now be called "low food security" or "very low food security."
The "low food security" ranks dwindled a bit, to 35 million, but the "very low food security" numbers rose to 10.8 million from 10.7 million. I'm guessing that this group experienced what the report describes as "a potential consequence of ... prolonged, involuntary lack of food (that) results in discomfort, illness, weakness or pain ..."
And what can we expect President Bush to do about this national shame? In 1999, Texas Gov. George W. Bush, then running for president, said he thought the annual USDA report -- which consistently finds his home state one of the hungriest in the nation -- was fabricated.
"I'm sure there are some people in my state who are hungry," Bush said. "I don't believe 5 percent are hungry."
And in true Bushite fashion, he postponed the release of this year's report until after the elections.
35 million people - 12 million of them children - aren't always sure where their next meal is coming from. 10.8 million are worse off than that.
No doubt the President is amazed at the very high tolerance children have for hunger pangs.
This in the land of milk and honey.