Gobble till You Wobble

We Gobble till We Wobble While More Go Hungry

We have come to an odd relationship with food, because we are full of contradictions. This American Thanksgiving holiday brings those contradictions into sharp view. While an increasing number of Americans are going hungry, we’re celebrating a national feast day that is a time to give thanks for abundance.

Hunger Soaring with the Pandemic

At this moment, America is a country of bitter divisions. Our election was three weeks ago, but the outgoing president can’t get over it. The only thing he’s happy about is seeing a new high mark on the U.S. stock markets. Meanwhile, deaths due to the coronavirus are approaching new record levels and no one in the White House will talk about it. Because of this, unemployment is rising again and the outlook for the economy is wobbly.

Thus the sense of abundance in the land is quite uncertain. Nearly 26 million American adults do not have enough food to eat this week. With the onset of the pandemic, hunger surged dramatically. Now in November, it’s up by almost 50% in households with children compared to levels before the pandemic. One in six of these households do not have enough to eat. Jeremy K. Everett is Executive Director of the Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty in Waco, Texas. This surge in hunger has two causes, he says:

“It’s been driven by the virus and the unpredictable government response.”

Food, Health, and Celebration

The uneven government response to hungry families in this pandemic reflects our confused feelings about food. It is a basic human need. We seek it out by instinct. Sharing it with loved ones is a source of great pleasure that we celebrate with feasts such as Thanksgiving. Yet we often try to treat it as if it were some sort of medicine. At the same time our culture celebrates the pleasure of food, we also attach shame and guilt to its consumption.

Because food marketing and the quality of our food supply are promoting obesity, many people view the industry as a threat to health.

So on this day of Thanksgiving, we are full of contradictions. We feast while many of our brothers and sisters are hungry. We look toward a better future while many people are bitter about the recent past. We look forward to ending this pandemic and yet squabble about how to deal with it.

Nonetheless, we give thanks and hope for better days ahead.

Click here and here for more on rising hunger in the midst of this pandemic.

Gobble till You Wobble, photograph © Ted Kyle / flickr

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November 26, 2020

One Response to “We Gobble till We Wobble While More Go Hungry”

  1. November 26, 2020 at 11:37 am, Mary-Jo said:

    Every person on earth is entitled to nourishing, enjoyable, health-giving food and drink. It is a basic human right. Those of us who study food and its role in the body, for the soul, its place in the environment, in society, for the world must continue to advance and apply knowledge and understanding of food to deliver dignity, joy, balance, and peace for people and the earth. I give great thanks when that happens!🐿🦃☮️