This is a post from John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO.

How does the U.S. compare to other countries when it comes to hunger? Not just Germany (or other “social democratic” countries), but China or Slovenia? Not so well, it turns out.

Share our Strength, a national anti-hunger organization has developed some provocative ads that turn the usual thinking on its head. In this, the wealthiest nation on earth, we are often asked to help other countries that suffer from extreme poverty and social ills. What if other countries looked at the troubles we have here and wanted to help? What would that look like?  You can see it here:

China for America

Slovenia for America

Germany for America

Maybe it’s not such a crazy idea after all. We in the U.S. like to think that our poverty, hunger and homelessness are somehow different from what happens in other parts of our world. It’s not.

Many smart, hardworking people can’t get any traction in our economy and end up getting by day-to-day. Others are elderly or disabled and on fixed incomes. The result of not enough money often means skimping on food.

Why not stretch beyond our borders to ask for funding from people who see Americans as needing help? I don’t know how that feels to you, but what we’re doing as a country now just isn’t getting the job done. Vermonters are still missing 15 million meals per year while the Feds cut food stamp benefits, and the Foodbank does its best make up the difference.

As a people this country has plenty of money, and plenty of food.  What we lack is the political will to end hunger and poverty. We need new thinking. What’s your idea?