From John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO:
This article summarizes the sad, but true, state of President Obama’s 2008 pledge to end childhood hunger by 2015. Even given adequate resources, it would be too late to leverage and improve the infrastructure needed to reach and feed every hungry child in this country.
This doesn’t mean that those of us at the Vermont Foodbank will pause in our efforts to feed everyone in the line today and shorten the line for tomorrow. Just because we likely can’t reach the goal by 2015, however, is no reason to throw in the towel.
Hunger is more than just a condition that is alleviated by donated food; it is a symptom of deeper distress. Ending childhood hunger will mean more high-paying jobs for millions of parents across the nation. It will mean better education for those on the economic ladder’s lowest rungs, high-quality child care for working parents, and programs that support the elderly, disabled and others who cannot work for a living. Successful strategies and programs exist.
There is plenty of healthy food in this country to feed all of our children well; all we lack is the political will to make it happen. Our political leaders need to get real. Cutting SNAP benefits and obsessing on reducing the federal deficits does not help our neighbors feed their families.
It is not a cliché to say that our children are the future – it’s a fact. And when we deny our children enough to eat we deny this country the future to which we all aspire.