The Debate on Hunger in America–Where is it Happening?

Where is the most lively debate on hunger in America occurring on this beautiful day in May of 2008? On the Websites of America’s Second Harvest or Share Our Strength, or FRAC?

Nope.  Not today–as valuable as those sites are for providing great information. Today the most lively debate is occurring in the comments section of a USA Today article, "New breed of American emerges in need of food." 

It’s a good article.  Well researched, with some provocative facts and statistics.  It quotes a lot of very knowledgeable people including our good friend Maura Daly from A2H, who’s been on the front lines out there fighting for a quality nutrition title in the Farm Bill;  and Bill Bolling from Atlanta Community Food Bank, a pioneer in the food banking business, who’s been in it long enough to speak quite authoritatively about what’s happening now.

I read it with interest. All the way down to the comments section.  Which amazed me.  703 comments as of the time of this posting.  Probably more by the time you read this.  More than any other story sitting online at USA Today as of this writing (twice as many as the article about the Pope voicing his opinion on gay unions).

The comments are all over the board, with a lot of opinion divided across ideological lines, and some of the commentary devolving into political bickering.  What’s especially disturbing is the great number who are unashamed to voice the opinion that people at risk of hunger "get what they deserve."  

One wonders how many people–how many kids–have to be placed at risk before it’s widely recognized that more often than not, hunger is not a product of lifestyle choices.

I didn’t have the time to read all of the comments.  But I have to ask: is there a better way to elevate the debate and create accurate awareness for hunger in our country?