The statistics are startling:
- More than 20,000 families in Madison County are “food insecure,” meaning they lack the financial means to afford enough food for a healthy lifestyle, according to Feeding America.
- Nearly 23 percent of children living in Indiana are food insecure. That’s nearly one out of every four.
Yes, the statistics are troubling. But when you put hunger in real human terms and learn the stories of those who don’t have enough to eat, it can gnaw at your soul.
Go to the Helping Hands Food Pantry at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church or the Park Place Community Center Food Pantry, or any other place where food is provided to those in need, and you’ll see real people in real need.
Some of them are working parents just trying to make ends meet. Many have been plagued by a string of misfortune. Others are retirees living on an income that is fixed too low to pay the bills.
It could happen to any of us.
Since long before presidential candidate Herbert Hoover promised “a chicken in every pot” in 1928, Americans have believed that everyone, regardless of circumstances, should have enough to eat.
Believing it and making it happen, however, are two entirely different things. In the long-lingering aftermath of the great recession of 2009, many local folks have found it increasingly difficult to afford enough food for their families.
A special report on food insecurity last Sunday in The Herald Bulletin (to read the report, visit heraldbulletin.com and search for “food insecurity), dispelled the myth that anyone who is willing to work hard will have enough to eat. We told the stories of a local family and a local grandmother who, despite strong work ethics, need the offerings of the Helping Hands Food Pantry to assure that their families don’t go hungry.