The young lady, who took my order for a salad at my favorite café, was sporting a tag with an orange apple core and the words, No Kid Hungry, Share Our Strength. I became curious and started researching. Apparently, September is the No Kid Hungry orange month, “a pledge to dine out and end childhood hunger.”
Billy Shore, founder and CEO of Share Our Strength, explains that No Kid Hungry Campaign “connects kids in need with nutritious food and teaches their families how to cook healthy, affordable meals,” making “childhood hunger a national priority.”
Share Our Strength gives collaborative solutions in the form of “community grants to nonprofit organizations (NGOs), schools, and other eligible organizations who are involved in the following activities:
– Increasing access to afterschool snack and meal programs, or meals in child care settings, supported through the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP)
– Increasing access to summer meals programs supported through the Summer Food Service Program or the National School Lunch “Seamless Summer” Program
– Educating and enrolling more eligible families in SNAP/WIC
– Increasing participation in the School Breakfast program through alternative models such as in-classroom breakfast and grab-n-go.
– Advocacy around any of the above anti-hunger issues
– Nutrition education programs provided by Share our Strength’s Cooking Matters partners.” https://www.nokidhungry.org/solution/working-together
“The No Kid Hungry campaign works to shine a national spotlight on the crisis of childhood hunger in America, creating a powerful movement of individuals committed to bold action. We build partnerships that enlist influential individuals in the cause and advocate policy changes needed to achieve our goals.” I did not realize hunger is a national crisis in our obese country but I stand corrected. It sounds like a wonderful and noble idea; nobody wants to see children starve in this land of plenty. Nobody wants to see starving children anywhere in the world.
As a former teacher I know that some parents have abdicated their parenting job to schools to educate, supervise, and feed their children three meals a day. It is no longer their responsibility to provide for their children, it is the government’s job and the government is happy to step in with more policies, bold action, influential individuals, and their goals. Seems like a great idea, right? As a parent, however, I would like to keep government out of my children’s lives as much as possible and that includes nutrition. Do I need a famous Hollywood government spokesperson telling me how to feed or raise my children?
The campaign wants to “ensure food at home, school breakfast, and meals all year long.” Access, education, and awareness are accomplished through “private citizens, government officials, nonprofit organizations, business leaders, and others providing innovative hunger solution in their communities.”
Who caused our nation’s children to suddenly go hungry? Could it be that the economic policies of the last 5 years of the current administration have reduced family budgets to a stretching limit, have caused massive part-time employment and unemployment with the passing of the Affordable Care Act, high gasoline prices, high utilities, out-of-control printing of money by the Federal Reserve that has devalued the purchasing power of dollars causing families to make painful personal budget choices? Of course, low information voters would never admit that they have voted themselves into the dire economic conditions that they must now suffer. Normally, Americans vote with their pocket books, but this time, they voted for a cult of personality.
I look around and I see a lot of overweight Americans with their children in tow dining in restaurants, fast food places, malls, and receiving free meals at school. I see SNAP and EBT signs everywhere in grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores, and pretty much anywhere food can be purchased. I am more of the opinion that the whole country could stand to eat less – we could be much healthier. I modify that slightly – there are some skinny college students who eat a lot less, they are too proud to apply for government welfare, they work part-time jobs to pay for their food and other necessities.
I am confused because we have spent trillions of dollars on the war on poverty so far and we have lost the war; we have over 126 government welfare programs that feed, clothe, shelter, and medically care for our poor families and many overlap in mission; the First Lady’s anti childhood obesity campaign has changed the school menus around the country to healthy choices, prompting kids to throw hundreds of thousands of meals in the trash because they don’t like the food while others complain of hunger because the meals do not satiate their growing bodies’ nutritional needs or their athletic activities.
We used to have charities to address the needs of those less fortunate but they have been fast replaced by government stringent regulations with government grants and welfare programs. My initial suspicion was that this campaign is not about hunger, or donating “$10 to connect hungry children with 100 meals,” in spite of the many national partners, social media and blogger partners, state and community partners, national allies, core partners, Let’s Move, Head Start, famous chefs, famous restaurants, NEA Health Information Network, National Institute of Health’s We Can! Program, it is about government control of what our children eat and where they eat and who has ultimate parental rights over our children.