After all, the history books we read growing up told us that America was the land of the plenty.
When colonists landed in this country, they were fighting off hunger. Population rapidly declined. That was 400 years ago. Settlers were subject to disease, raids and poor crop outcome. Conditions are much improved today.
In the eighteenth century, having overcome disease, hunger and wars, the colonists were gaining strength. They possessed the space, better resources and organization. But there was still hunger. Conditions are much improved today.
In the nineteenth century, hunger was perceived by some theorists as the result of a flawed individual. In reality, hunger was an unavoidable situation. There was mass starvation, illness, crowded living conditions, horrendous working environments and lots of child labor. Conditions are much improved today.
By the beginning of the twentieth century, hunger began to gain a new understanding. Humanitarian groups, social reformers, political activists and scientists all saw that hunger was a political and economic force out of their control.
During the Depression, there was tremendous hardship, hemorrhaging unemployment and millions of Americans starved. Many of us heard stories told by our grandparents as we watched them keep their pantries full of canned foods. Just incase, my grandmother always told me. That was then, I would tell my grandmother, conditions are much improved today. We learned from the Depression, didn’t we?
Hunger is invisible to most of us, but today people young and old are lining up at food banks in this land of plenty. It is a reality and it isn’t going away. Supplies are dwindling and pantries worry they might not be able to help provide what so many of us take for granted: food. Please consider contributing: here.
Thank you Meg for making many of us more aware.