Service of Some Still Don’t Believe Americans Go Hungry

May 9th, 2022

Categories: Charity, Food, Hunger, Inflation, Prices

Miche at Bien Cuit bakery, $15.00

I was at a gathering, tables groaning with delicious goodies, at which I heard: “I don’t believe there is hunger in this country.” The speaker refused to be convinced otherwise.

The comment nagged at me so I looked online for recent articles about hunger in America, [not that this person would have read any of them], and found none on Google since 2020. At that time there were plenty of reports of how the pandemic had made a terrible situation–that had been getting better–worse for many, especially children.

The nokidhungry.org website reports today that “according to the latest estimates, as many as 13 million children in the United States live in ‘food insecure’ homes. That phrase may sound mild, but it means that those households don’t have enough food for every family member to lead a healthy life.

$2.99 at Trader Joe’s

“The number of children living with hunger had fallen steadily over the past decade, but the coronavirus pandemic dealt a terrible blow to our progress as a nation – one that No Kid Hungry and other organizations will work to reverse during the long recovery ahead.”

So I changed my question to Google and wrote: “How has inflation impacted food banks?” I found a January 31, 2022 story on cbnews.com by Kate Gibson: “Inflation has more Americans counting on food banks to eat.”  It described the financial pressure that food banks are experiencing which, of course, impact those who depend on them.

I can’t believe I paid $1.99 for a grapefruit or $1.19 for a navel orange at Trader Joe’s. There are plenty of staples I buy there that haven’t increased in price such as a pound of penne rigate from Italy $.99; a pound of sweet Campari tomatoes, $2.99, [as much as $6 at other stores], or 16 ounces of plain Greek yogurt for $3.29. The last time I bought a butter substitute, Brummel & Brown, at a standard Manhattan grocery store, it cost $4-something. Last week I handed the cashier $5.00 and quickly realized that wasn’t enough: I paid $6+.  For the average family of four, that doesn’t have money left for food after paying rent and electricity, many of these items I buy regularly are luxuries.

Speaking of luxuries, I saw a stunning looking country bread at Bien Cuit in Grand Central Station for $15. I bet it’s tasty.

Do you know anyone who believes that there are no hungry people living in America? Are there many who think this? Can you share links to recent articles on hunger in America that I’ve missed? Are your grocery bills inching upwards or have you negotiated around the increases?

Trader Joe’s price: $.99.

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14 Responses to “Service of Some Still Don’t Believe Americans Go Hungry”

  1. TC Said:

    Meanwhile, I am learning to make my own bread. A bit daunting.

  2. Jeanne Byington Said:

    TC,

    I’ll say. I once tried and the result was so disastrous there was no reprise! It tasted of yeast and was inedible. My attempt at croissants was worse: Door stops!

  3. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: Suspect the same people who believe there are no hungry Americans also believe the 2020 election was “stolen” from Trump and that he had “no role” in the January 6 insurrection. ‘Nuf said.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Linda,

    You are on to something. I suspect the person who made the “no hunger here” claim is a fan but I also think that in the city we see homeless almost every time we set foot out of doors and that in some suburban communities citizens never see signs of poverty.

  5. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: Probably not as noticeable in the burbs but all over media, social and otherwise and especially since the pandemic began, so hard to be in denial.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Linda,

    Goodness knows what folks who follow Fox and conservative talk hear about human suffering except perhaps some breast beating and complaints about government interference and the enormous sums of money spent on Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and programs that feed children in school etc.

  7. Lucrezia Said:

    Hunger in America is a national disgrace, and an even bigger one in my county, one of the richest in the country. The US was once known as the “Land of Milk & Honey.” No more!

  8. Linda Levi Said:

    Linda on Facebook: Jeanne, funny that you chose to write about this topic now. I just walked by All Souls Church/School at Lex & 80th. They’re doing a food insecurity giveaway. Line around the block — and that’s the UES!

  9. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Linda,

    Aha! Not surprised though sad and thanks for a perfect example to illustrate my concern.

  10. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Lucrezia,

    How can you tell if the person near you is hungry because they can’t afford food? I posit you can’t. It’s a hidden tragedy. That said a young woman ahead of me on Lexington Avenue reached into her tote bag to give a beggar a bag with food in it—her lunch maybe? He shooed her away saying he wanted money.

  11. Martha Takayama Said:

    I think that all Magas,Trumpers and those who claim to be Republicans don’t believe that anyone in the U.S.suffers from hunger nor do they care!

    I am horrified as are all my friends by the constant upward climb of ordinary, basic and domestic foods and attribute most of it simply to corporate greed.

    I think it is unconscionable to ignore the issue of childhood hunger and also ironically selfish. A population with more children at risk means a population with more costly health problems, physical and mental.

    As for negotiating the increases, I shop with greater care and try to not buy excess to avoid waste..

  12. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Martha,

    Most people I know may be hungry for a few hours at most or if celebrating a religious holiday, for a longer time always with promise of food at some point. Think of how distracting it would be to try to study on an empty stomach. A starving child will probably not meet his/her potential, another loss to the future of this country.

    More important, we are better than this. To quote Lucrezia in an earlier comment, hunger is a national disgrace. Before giving huge tax breaks to billionaires and giant corporations the country would do well to feed the hungry in a dignified way.

  13. Dawn DeLuca Said:

    Dawn on Facebook: People going hungry in this country is a national disgrace…people denying the fact are…Well, I don’t even know what to call them…..

  14. Jeanne Byington Said:

    Dawn,

    Easily fooled? I can hear some pundit declare “if people wanted to work they could and therefore they should not be hungry.“ And the healthy, young listeners might agree forgetting the homeless, innocent victims of parents who may be sick or addicted, people in low paying jobs who can’t cover bills in spite of having several, elderly on fixed incomes who chose medicine over food and on and on. Sigh.

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