Monday, September 05, 2011

OREGON: WE'RE NUMBER ONE! (and it's shameful)

I watched some of the Oregon LSU football game the other day (the Ducks lost badly). I enjoy watching sports once in awhile, but I'm increasingly bothered by the high level of hype, and the very big dollars that are associated with college sports (men's).

But that's not what this post is about. This post is about the fact that, according to a recent report released by Feeding America, the national food bank organization, the State of Oregon leads the nation in the percentage of children who are food insecure.  In my state, 29.2 percent of people under the age of 18 years don't get enough to eat, and don't always know where their next meal will come from (based on 2009 data). This is not a "being number one" that we are proud of.

Food insecure kids don't do well in school, and this can harm them for life. It also harms our society and our economy. A number of organizations are helping get food to kids at school that they can eat there, and also take home for the weekend. School staff will tell you (and my wife saw this when she was working in schools) that some kids come to school because they know they'll get a meal there (some parents do, too).

Let's work together to put an end to this problem. Donate money and/or time to organizations that help feed kids. Let your congresspersons know that this isn't right and needs to be fixed.

And when you are cheering for the Ducks, or whatever team you like, as they run onto the field or court, in their shiny new uniforms and shoes and gear, show your team spirit by putting a little more cash in that envelope to the Food Bank.

1 comment:

  1. I know what you mean. And with public funding drying up it's up to the rest of us individually to do something to get food to people. We have a project here that's really working to increase food in the local food bank:
    It works through small neighborhood groups and individually, you just buy a little extra food to contribute (no money). Another thing that might help is a time bank, which could be a mechanism for local small farms and gardeners to contribute food as "hours" - again - no money - in return for help they need: it works through creativity. Small now but great potential.