What do you know?

By Ed Nicholson

I was privileged to be at a meeting last week with some of the best, brightest and most passionate people in hunger relief: NGOs, government  folks and highly-engaged corporate types.   It was inspiring and energizing. 
In a Q&A session with NGOs (Feeding America, Share Our Strength, Meals on Wheels and FRAC), I related the story about how many of our managers were in denial of  hunger being a significant challenge in their own communities.  I asked them if there was statistically valid research indicating peoples’ awareness of the issue. 
The general consensus was that research indicated people are aware of hunger and that everybody believes something should be done.    
OK. But here’s where it falls short with me:  I still don’t believe a critical mass of people understand just how close to home hunger hits with them. They don’t understand that almost anywhere and everywhere, there are kids going to school with their kids who go to bed hungry at night.  They don’t know that there are senior citizens who have to make choices between medicine and food.  If they knew, they’d care. And if they cared, they’d be motivated to action.  We’ve seen great evidence of this.  

It’s not that people are uncaring.  It’s just they don’t know enough to care. 

And that’s a big reason there’s hunger in a land of abundance.

2 Replies to “What do you know?”

  1. Judy

    Once again, very well said.  Now what can we do about it?  How can we build awareness so that people know that it isn;t just the poverty stricken or blighted areas?  We are now talking about our neighbors and our neighbors families.  These are the "new faces of hunger".

  2. Kristie

    This is so true!

    Most people don’t realize the harsh choices that some have to make just to eat.  It seems to me that this is everyone’s "problem"  and not just those that are directly affected by hunger.

    I believe that most choose to go about their own ways ignoring the reality of hunger because if they really looked at the situation, they would be moved to help.  It’s much easier to stay ignorant.

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