Bob Franken and I share a passionate love for animals. The Humane Society's pictures of "neglected, abused and hungry dogs and cats are heart wrenching." But what about our children? A new study shows one-fourth of America's children are going to bed hungry every single night.
How can we be blase about their plight? How could those of us more fortunate not rush out and share our bounty? This is not sharing wealth, this is about guaranteeing the right to basic sustenance. And Thanksgiving is the very day we should think about this.
This is when we some of us make a such a to-do about our conscience-salving holiday contributions to a food bank so the deprived are able to partake of a holiday meal. This is one of the two days a year where we might head to a soup kitchen and dole out food to the needy, preferably when the local TV cameras are there, before we go home and gorge ourselves on ridiculous feasts and then make jokes in the days ahead about using up the leftovers.
Tragically, for one fourth of our children there is nothing from which to be left over, or enough scraps for all those other days and nights besides Thanksgiving, and oh yeah, Christmas. Time after time we're told that the last-resort food banks in our nation of plenty, no longer are receiving what they need to feed those who have plenty of nothing. Blame the economy, we're told for reducing contributions just when more people are desperate for anything to eat.
It's not acceptable. True, times are tough, but frankly, most of us consume way more than we require while others simply don't get enough...far too many others What we don't overindulge, we throw away. If it is too much to get the wealthy to share their prosperity, maybe we can at least come up with a better system to collect what is discarded and set up a network that provides it in some non-demeaning way to the parents who simply want their children to be properly nourished. Would that be asking enough?