Have you ever been hungry? Not the missed-a-meal, wanna overeat hungry, but stomach-churning, bread-stealing hungry. Not the luxury of choice, but the sheer desperation of not having eaten for so many hours that food is nothing more than a memory.
A dictionary describes hunger as “an uneasy or painful sensation from lack of food.” Synonyms include “starved” and “starving.”
It happens at our border when children are separated from their parents and not given enough to eat in a day. It happens in our inner cities, where poor folks often choose between paying rent and buying food.
In the United States, as many as 40 million experienced hunger in 2017. According to the US Department of Agriculture, 15 million households are “food insecure,” scrambling to put food on the table. One in six children do not know where their next meal is coming from. Twenty-two million children need free or reduced-price lunch to get enough nutrition.
The Department of Agriculture has just promulgated rules that will cut another three million people off food assistance. You won’t be surprised to know that Black and Brown folks are more likely to experience food insecurity than others.
Denny’s Restaurants and the National Council of Negro Women have partnered to visit seven HBCUs this fall. They have titled their tour “Hungry for Education,” and as president of PUSH Excel, the education arm of Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition, I was excited to join with friends and colleagues to promote the tour.
Affects academic performance
The theme was amplified when Denny’s president John Miller shared a poem that highlighted the ways hunger affects academic performance. While the poem seemed to focus on the K-12 youngsters whose presence, ability, and behavior is affected by hunger, it is also clear that young adults who are attending colleges across the country make painful choices.
Food or tuition? Dinner or a required book? These young people are experiencing an “uneasy and painful sensation from lack of,” be it nutritional or intellectual sustenance.
Perpetuating hunger will erode our riches, but some of us are too busy addressing the antics of the Provocateur in Chief that we can’t deal with the ‘minor’ matter of hungry children. Thus, the NCNW Hungry for Education partnership with Denny’s is both about physical hunger and intellectual craving for better lives. It’s about transcending Trump.
I feel their pain
I am hungry, too, but I’m hungry for sanity.
I get a feeling in the pit of my stomach whenever our 45th president opens his mouth over the airwaves. And I am all the more nauseated because I talk to friends around the globe who never hesitate to make fun of our nation.
We elected the world’s biggest clown. Who the heck articulates his desire to be an extreme colonialist by saying he might like to buy Greenland, a territory of Denmark, that is uninterested in being sold? I know that No. 45 is a failed real estate mogul, but the imperialist notion of purchasing other countries is laughable and deplorable.
I am hungry for sanity when I read disgusting tweets that encourage Israel to block duly-elected United States representatives from visiting and speaking to oppressed Palestinians. Whether Trump or Israel agrees with Congresswomen Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib, they are elected representatives of their districts.
Trump’s exhortation against them and Benjamin Netanyahu’s foolishness are anti-democratic. I am so hungry that there is a pit in my stomach when I consider this foolishness.
No more Trump
Regular readers know that I can rarely type the word “Trump.” I’m doing it now because I’m hungry for sanity, for peace, for the possibility of a better world.
I won’t write about our 45th president again this year. I will write about economics, public policy, and philosophy. I won’t write about the narcissist, the elected clown who has turned our nation into a circus. I’m less interested in the circus than in the sideshow ways this administration has consistently attacked and oppressed people.
I won’t get sanity by writing about idiocy. I’m taking at least a three-month hiatus from reacting to unhinged madness. I am hungry for sanity, and millions of us are still hungry for food!