“Where are all these babies coming from?” the villagers asked as they pulled babies from the stream.
Every day there were more babies to be rescued, so they built special equipment to pull the babies from the water and hired people to care for them.
They struggled to feed them. And, even though the number continued to increase, they never went upstream to see where all the babies were coming from.
This is where we are today in relation to food-relief efforts. Since the recession of the ’80s, when it began as a volunteer effort to meet food needs of the unemployed, it has now exploded into a multibillion-dollar hunger industrial complex.
Today over 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and soup kitchens distribute $5 billion dollars in food annually. Food banks -- like our local food bank -- have annual revenues over $125 million dollars, with CEOs earning over $180,000 a year.
Hunger has become institutionalized big business. The War on Poverty is over, and the poor have lost. Now we only talk about the growing need -- like the 5.3 million Americans who survive on $4 or less per day.
Instead of feeding programs, we need to go upstream to the source. We need to be seeking living wages for workers, equal health care, and affordable housing.
If we don’t go to the source of the poverty, the need -- like the babies in the fable -- will keep coming.
I’m Dan Kenney, and that’s my perspective.