Call me naive. Call me out of touch. Or call me a conservative.
I don't feel I'm any of those, but maybe it's true. I simply don't quite believe the leaders of Feeding America, the nation's leading food provider, when they say one in six citizens face hunger on a regular basis.
I get around -- in fact, I've volunteered to oversee children's Summer Food Program lunches -- and I simply don't see it. People fall short of food, but they usually get help. Children are most at risk but when they go hungry, the cause most often is family dysfunction rather than poverty.
I agree that one of six families -- far more, in some areas -- need support from food stamps. I agree with Feeding America's legislative activism to combat tea party threats to nutrition programs.
However, advocates should strive to avoid exaggeration, especially during today's divisive and hostile politics.
That being said, there is much to gain from visiting the Feeding America website. Many stereotypes are demolished, most vividly that poverty is essentially an urban problem. Poverty is everywhere. Feeding America reports that greatest hardship in D.C., which we might expect, and the state of Oregon, which we wouldn't.
Also, we all should be aware that food banks can make a little bit of money go a long way by obtaining surplus food and buying in bulk.
Here's the website: http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america.aspx