What does it mean to be hungry? Have you ever been hungry? I know and talk to daily with many hungry people. For most of them, the experience is numbing, humiliating, and defeating.
For some people, network of friends and family brings food to them. In addition to parents, who helped with sharing what they could, neighbors sometimes support their neighbors by sharing their food.
One of the main decisions many immigrants leave their country of origin is hunger. Most of the time, they refer to themselves as "economic refugees".
I would have to say that there are many hungry people right here in America. The food is simply too expensive for many people to buy, so even if people continue to work really hard, most of the time they can still not afford to buy whatever they want from the food items. Many people utilize the food pantries, the soup kitchens and the fee school breakfast and lunch programs to feed themselves and their families. (Berg 2008)
The SNAP program provides a great safety net for many, and also funnels millions of dollars into the state's economy. Many times a working family has to choose between which bills they pay, and how much would they have left for food and other expenses. It is a delicate balance that many people are trying to achieve, and it is not always easy to do that.
Many students, when denied food stamps, cry and are speechless. From some of the comments that I have heard, and some of the comments that were told to me were:
"I already work hard enough. Do you know how much work 19 credits is?!? Sometimes I feel I can't think....."
Another comment is:
"I am working 15 hours per week.....Are you telling me that since I don't work 20 hours per week or more, I am not eligible for food stamps?!? How am I supposed to eat? My job barely covers my rent."
Food is very important for us humans, not only because it is our source of energy and nourishment. As food critic and author Ken Albala stated in his book, it is a center piece of all human gathering: from weddings, funerals, feasts and sacrifices....It penetrates our existence in so many ways. When we are hungry, we can't think. When we are hungry, we can't study, watch our children, go to work and go about our daily life, and we are consumed by the fear of not having enough food. There are even some that go as far as to state that fear of going without food puts the body in "overdrive" of sorts, and makes it store extra food because of this fear, and thus the proliferation of obesity in this country.