Editorial: Many of us are struggling to put food on the table
Hunger and other needs are acute throughout the United States right now.
On Nov. 25, the Washington Post reported these staggering figures: “One in 8 Americans reported they sometimes or often didn’t have enough food to eat in the past week, hitting nearly 26 million American adults, an increase several times greater than the most comparable pre-pandemic figure, according to Census Bureau survey data collected in late October and early November. That number climbed to more than 1 in 6 adults in households with children.”
That’s astonishing and deeply troubling. And it’s just one metric, not counting housing expenses or the ability of families to provide other support for their children. As we face a holiday season taking place within a pandemic and resulting economic crisis, it’s clear that many of us are struggling.
Locally, the toll is easy enough to see. Drop by any of the nonprofits or agencies who work to address the needs of families in crisis: Harvesters, Doorstep, Rescue Mission, and the Salvation Army, for example.
The current health restrictions mean that some agencies are experiencing difficulties in their normal use of volunteers due to the current health restrictions. “Adopting” families to give them Christmas gifts has become challenging for the same reasons. Thus these agencies are having to rely more on financial contributions.
Kansans, we need to step up. If you or your family hasn’t been hit by COVID-19, the loss of job or experienced lower income, please consider helping those less fortunate than yourselves this holiday season. This is a time when we all need to share our resources. Everyone, especially children, deserves to receive something at Christmas.
But it’s not just about Christmas morning, of course. It’s about meals that we all need every day.
Kids and adults simply can’t do or be their best without adequate nutrition. That same Washington Post article notes that “experts say it is likely that there’s more hunger in the United States today than at any point since 1998, when the Census Bureau began collecting comparable data about households’ ability to get enough food.”
So this season, think about the holidays of others. Also think about their day-to-day lives, and what all of us need to make our way in this world. We can get through it, but we will all be better off by doing it together.