I just finished watching A Place At The Table, a documentary about the reality of hunger in the United States. More than 50 million people in America go hungry or roughly 1 in 6 people. In this country, its unacceptable.
It made me think of my own life and how privileged I am. My biggest concerns are usually getting a new fashionable pair of shoes or the next extravagant piece of jewelry. And although I call myself the Marie Antoinette of the LGBT community, I’m not going to turn a blind eye to the issue of hunger.
Personally, for me, its pretty hard to relate to going hungry. The closest I can relate is being a college student and sometimes not having enough food or eating Ramen more than once a week. The difference is, all I had to go was go raid my family’s cabinet. Not everyone has that option.
The government doesn’t do enough for the hungry. The farm system and the Department of Agriculture aids farmers that make wheat, corn, etc… foods that are eventually processed and turned into cheap foods that have caused this country to become obese. In some areas, fresh fruit and vegetables aren’t even an option. They aren’t delivered to poor urban areas or places in the middle of nowhere because it isn’t worth the truckers time to do so. Pathetic.
The Food Stamp program is also insufficient, people have to try to live on about 3.00 a day. Can you do that? I know that on the weekends my best friend and I spend more than that on iced tea. Some people have to feed their entire family on that. Even with food stamps, healthy foods are far from affordable which leads to buying canned ravioli and sugary cereal and still the food stamps run out before the end of the month.
It really isn’t solely up to the government to make sure people don’t go hungry. It is up to all of us, we can all make sure that it doesn’t happen. Instead of going to Starbucks for a coffee that costs more than school lunches for an entire week, donate it to a food program or buy non-perishable foods for a food bank. Instead of letting the random canned foods in your cupboards expire, clean them out and take what you aren’t going to use to the food bank…
Everyone can make a difference. Just try it, once a month at least take one superficial thing that you normally do and put that money towards this cause. Let your nails have a break from acrylics…give that 40 bucks to a local food program. Let your roots show once. Buy an outfit to wear from a thrift store and give the difference of what you would have spent at Urban Outfitters to a good cause. Little changes can make a big impact.
Stop being so selfish, there are so many of us that are very fortunate. Stop protesting the 1 percent…because you are the 82 percent that have a lot more than the 17 percent going hungry. The 82 percent are wealthier than the 95 percent of the African continent… somewhere you are the 1 percent. Think about it, stop pretending not to notice and actually do something.
Th LGBT community are actually very at risk at being hungry. Especially the LGBT youth. Often, they are too ashamed or afraid to ask for help at food banks, churches etc, because of the stigma of being LGBT. They also generally don’t qualify for Food stamps. If you are LGBT and hungry, don’t be afraid or ashamed. Ask for help, go to churches even if you don’t believe what they believe. They are there to help anyone…and have to, they receive a tax exempt status for doing so.
But… before you buy your next pair of fancy shoes or do a benefit show for a drag pageant…think about someone else.