I’m fasting today.

Here in America over 45 million people live poverty, including 15 million children: the highest poverty rate since 1960. 50 million people live in food insecure households. Meanwhile, Americans face high unemployment alongside skyrocketing food and energy prices. Around the world, 25,000 people die from hunger-related causes every day, 925 million people suffer from severe hunger and malnutrition and 2.1 billion live on less than $2 a day.

The following comments are from Ed Nicholson, representing his personal opinions.

I’m not eating today, along with thousands of others who care about hungry people in our country and around the world. It’s all part of the campaign HungerFast.org, in which the nation’s most prominent anti-hunger/ anti-poverty organizations (including some of our partners*) are encouraging their stakeholders to fast to create awareness for the need for compassionate, sensitive, and reasonable debate over how budget cuts might affect the most vulnerable among us.   

I consider myself a fiscal conservative. I’m acutely aligned with those who believe it’s absolutely imperative we get the federal deficit under control. But I also believe there are ways we can and should do it without making folks go hungry. 

Even if you don’t believe in the essential humanitarian reasons for feeding people, consider the costs of hunger. If kids don’t eat, they don’t learn. If they don’t learn, they won’t live up to their potential in society. Sooner or later, we pay for that.

If people go hungry, they’re not healthy. Sooner or later, as a society, we pay for that.

In the words of Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, “…hungry places are politically the most unstable parts of the planet.  Where you have hunger, you have governments that fail, you have terrorism, you have unemployed, dispossessed youth, you have chances of global conflicts…”    Sooner or later, we’ll pay if people go hungry.

So if you’re talking about pushing costs to your grandkids, consider the costs of making people go hungry. Sooner or later, someone will have to pay.   It’s not just wrong, it’s shortsighted. 

I’ll skip some meals today if it means someone else won’t have to skip meals tomorrow.

* Share Our Strength, Feeding AmericaFRAC, The Congressional Hunger Center