Confusion Reigns In America: Are Kids Fat or Hungry?

 

For those unfamiliar with my non-political avocations, I’m a huge country music fan.  My partner and I travel to Nashville every June for the annual CMA Music Fest.  It is a blast, but that’s not what I’m fired up about today.

This past Sunday, the Academy of Country Music Awards (ACM) show aired on CBS-TV from Las Vegas.  (We are such big fans, we actually attended the ACMs in Vegas a few years ago — also awesome).

Pop/country singer Jewel was featured in a highlighted moment during the ACMs as part of the Academy’s “war on child hunger.”

Jewel experienced significant hardship in her early years prior to embarking on a successful career as a singer-songwriter and selling over 27 million albums worldwide. Without a place to call home, there were times when she wasn’t sure where she would spend the night or find her next meal. This experience provided the inspiration for her hit song “Hands,” a song about desperate times and not losing hope. 

“I’m so honored to perform this year’s ACM Lifting Lives moment and support ConAgra Foods’ Child Hunger Ends Here campaign. It’s an important cause I hold near and dear to my heart, and this is a wonderful way to give back and raise awareness. Tori wrote such a beautiful song, and I hope it serves as a wakeup call to everyone about how widespread a problem this is in the United States,” said Jewel.

“The Academy has been dedicated to improving lives through the power of music for forty years, and this is the fifth year we’ve included an ACM Lifting Lives moment in the ACM Awards. We are proud to partner once again with ConAgra Foods to bring together a memorable performance to viewers at home, and remind them about some serious issues that Americans face on a daily basis,” said Hannah Martin, Manager, ACM Lifting Lives. “It’s an honor to have Jewel and Tori contribute their talents to this cause, and to help raise awareness for the nearly 17 million children who live in food insecure homes today.”

So aside from my overwhelming desire that country music performances on TV not be poisoned by politics like NFL broadcasts are, I wondered aloud how this child hunger problem is even possible?

Let me be specific.  There has been a concerted effort by the Federal Government since before I was born to help feed children at school. Yep, the Federal school lunch program passed in 1947.  That’s 65 years ago, folks.  So the kids who were first helped with the program are now in retirement. Holy crap!

Since 1947, Congress has significantly upped the taxpayer contribution to help feed our school kids. In fact, the total budget for just children nutrition, breakfast, lunch and milk programs is over $100 billion for the 2012 Fiscal Year. (Note: I excluded programs not impacting children specifically in the continental United States.)

So we have spent over $500 billion in taxpayer money over the past five years and we still have children going hungry? Really? How is this possible? Who is wasting this money? I can eat very well for about $1,500 a year. And I’m borderline fat.

And check this out: 20% or more of the child population in 36 states and D.C. lived in food insecure households in 2010.

Food insecure households? What kind of nonsensical academic doublespeak is that?

But wait, there’s  more!  If 20 percent of children are always going hungry in America, why on earth is Michelle Obama so diabolically obsessed with overweight kids?

This reminds me of the Global Warming crowd: Global Warming causes heavy rain!  And snow! And drought! And wind! And cooling! And zebras mating in new positions!! Just re-engineer your entire economic structure through academic solutions funded by taxpayer dollars and everything will be fine.  

Except it will never be fine, because they always need more money.

So what is it America? Are our kids too fat or going hungry?  It cannot possibly be both.

There are 29 comments.

Become a member to join the conversation. Or sign in if you're already a member.
  1. Profile Photo Inactive
    @PsychLynne
    Low food security: reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake. – My behavior when I’m thinking about losing weight –

    Very low food security: Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake. – My behavior when I am actively losing weight

    Come to think of it, Very low food security describes most of my first pregnancy

    ; )

    • #1
  2. Profile Photo Member
    @KayofMT

    Bruce Carroll “So we have spent over $500 billion in taxpayer money over the past five years and we still have children going hungry? Really? How is this possible? Who is wasting this money? I can eat very well for about $1,500 a year. And I’m borderline fat.”

    Sure would like to know where you live that you can eat well on $125 a month. I would truly like to know, and what kind of food you are eating. I have a 22 year old friend living in my building that has no income, unable to work, is type 1 diabetic, the food closet is open 2 days a month and they pass out mostly high carbs stuff, macaroni, noodles, etc. She was hospitalized last Sat., released Monday afternoon, her medical records clearly state her DKA attack caused by lack of proper diet. Diagnosed at age 8, over 25 DKA episodes so far.

    Tarp denied her as she “isn’t looking for work.” and she as been in SS limbo over 2 years without them moving forward to make a decision. Medicaid denied as no kids. Oh, and she is skinny.

    • #2
  3. Profile Photo Member
    @AaronMiller

    I have participated for years in Meals On Wheels and other programs for the poor in Houston and San Antonio. Between those experiences and a lifetime of watching national news programs in which journalists strive to find the most depressing stories available, I have never witnessed a starving American.

    The only American citizens who innocently starve are the senile or otherwise mentally disabled. Even the homeless may eat at their leisure, because charitable organizations (and individuals) provide free food in every city in America.

    • #3
  4. Profile Photo Inactive
    @dasmotorhead

    Fat and starving I have a hard time believing. Fat and mal/undernourished I believe. When your body realizes it isn’t getting enough nutrition, it starts socking away everything it can as fat for long term storage. That said, I’m tired of hearing about both from our celebrity betters.

    • #4
  5. Profile Photo Inactive
    @dasmotorhead

    Regardless of the technicalities, your point stands.

    What I’d like to know is how much of that $500 billion is being spent on, you know, food, and how much on SNAP bureaucrats paid to go on Vegas junkets to discuss whether or not french fries count as a vegetable.

    • #5
  6. Profile Photo Member
    @Charlotte

    Maybe they are fungry.

    • #6
  7. Profile Photo Member
    @FlaggTaylor
    • #7
  8. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @JosephStanko
    Bruce Carroll: 

    Food insecure households? What kind of nonsensical academic doublespeak is that?

    From the USDA:

    The CNSTAT panel also recommended that USDA make a clear and explicit distinction between food insecurity and hunger.

    * Food insecurity–the condition assessed in the food security survey and represented in USDA food security reports–is a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.

    * Hunger is an individual-level physiological condition that may result from food insecurity.

    Categories of food insecurity include:

    • Low food security: reports of reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet. Little or no indication of reduced food intake.
    • Very low food security: Reports of multiple indications of disrupted eating patterns and reduced food intake.

    In other words, you can be classified as living in a “food insecure household” if at some point during the prior year you report “reduced quality, variety, or desirability of diet” even if it never actually leads to the “individual-level physiological condition” known as “hunger.”

    Got it?

    • #8
  9. Profile Photo Member
    @DrewInWisconsin
    Charlotte: Maybe they are fungry.

    Now there’s a way to draw attention to a cause — make it fun!

    • #9
  10. Profile Photo Member
    @DrewInWisconsin

    The odd term “food insecure” was devised as a way for the government to demand ever more money from its citizens. As I understood it, “food insecure” means yes, you had lunch, but you don’t know if you’re going to have supper. You’re “insecure” about whether or not you’ll eat.

    In other words, if you worry about eating, then you’re “food insecure” even if you eat plenty.

    Heck, Sesame Street even came up with a “food insecure” muppet in order to brainwash young children. (Make ’em leftists while they’re young, and they’ll happily serve the state when they’re older.)

    • #10
  11. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @JosephStanko
    DrewInWisconsin: The odd term “food insecure” was devised as a way for the government to demand ever more money from its citizens. As I understood it, “food insecure” means yes, you had lunch, but you don’t know if you’re going to have supper. You’re “insecure” about whether or not you’ll eat.

    In other words, if you worry about eating, then you’re “food insecure” even if you eat plenty.

    Worry about the “quality, variety, or desirability” of your diet qualifies, even if there is “little or no indication of reduced food intake.”

    By that definition, if you have to buy and cook a pot of rice and beans to feed your kids three nights in a row until the next paycheck clears, and they complain about the lack of “variety or desirability” because it’s not the McDonalds you usually feed them, then bingo: food insecurity.

    • #11
  12. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @JosephStanko

    In fact, the more I think about it, I bet “food insecurity” often results from a lack of savings and budgeting skills.

    That is, if you live paycheck to paycheck (or more likely welfare check), and you normally feed your kids all the fast food and junk food they want, and then at the end of the month you sometimes run out of money and have to skip a few meals, your kids could be “food insecure” and actually hungry (for a few days) and fat all at the same time.

    • #12
  13. Profile Photo Inactive
    @BrentB67

    I need to go on a diet lower in Obama and Congressional lard.

    • #13
  14. Profile Photo Member
    @Larry3435
    kohana: Bruce Carroll  

    Sure would like to know where you live that you can eat well on $125 a month. 

    Check pretty much any college campus, and you will find folks doing just that.  Yeah, they probably don’t have Type 1 diabetes, like your friend, but I’m not sure that a population that has a horrible and usually fatal disease is the right control group for this discussion.

    • #14
  15. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @Rightfromthestart

    I read several years ago that ‘living in hunger’ was defined as missing one meal a MONTH!  The left controls the definitions so that everyone  can be described as ‘living in huger’ and eligible for public ‘assistance’  Signing up more ‘clients’ is the name of the game for the statists. 

    • #15
  16. Profile Photo Member
    @KellyB
    Rightfromthestart: I read several years ago that ‘living in hunger’ was defined as missing one meal a MONTH!  The left controls the definitions so that everyone  can be described as ‘living in huger’ and eligible for public ‘assistance’  Signing up more ‘clients’ is the name of the game for the statists.  · 52 minutes ago

    Uh-oh.  I routinely practice intermittent fasting, so I tend to miss several meals per week.  Don’t tell the feds, please; I don’t want them foisting their food pyramid [expletive] on me.

    • #16
  17. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @BrandonShafer

    I wouldn’t mind the double speak so much if they didn’t insanely use the insecure numbers to claim one in four or one in five american children are going hungry.  That is a gross misrepresentation of what those numbers say, bordering on an outright lie.  

    • #17
  18. Profile Photo Thatcher
    @NoCaesar

    It’s the “charity”-mongers who are too fat and too hungry for more (greedy?).  I say this as one who until very recently has been on the boards of various charities for the last 15 years.  The professionalization of the “non-profit” world has been, on the whole, a bad thing both for charities and for society as a whole.  We have now created a class of professional leeches who are very good at marketing to the guilty-feeling and to governments.  They are more focused on the fund-raising than on the service-delivering.  And the latter is often an after-thought, or worse, a competition to a real struggling for-profit enterprise.  

    • #18
  19. Profile Photo Member
    @
    These stats always need to factor in the presence of drug addiction. A family whose parent(s) are addicts is insecure. Most of any real poverty in the USA can be attributed to this. I also personally believe there are culture groups (that used to be known as ghettos) that actually enable and encourage people to live in poverty and discourage getting out, whether overtly or by isolation. Usually there are a lot of drugs involved here, too. Do the drugs come from hopelessness or do they cause hopelessness? 
    • #19
  20. Profile Photo Coolidge
    @JosephStanko
    Larry3435

    kohana: Bruce Carroll  

    Sure would like to know where you live that you can eat well on $125 a month. 

    Check pretty much any college campus, and you will find folks doing just that.

    You can buy a whole lot of Top Ramen for $125.

    • #20
  21. Profile Photo Member
    @PaulDeRocco

    It’s entirely possible that there are poor kids who eat too much, and poor kids who are going hungry. The solution is obvious. Shouldn’t cost the taxpayers a dime.

    • #21
  22. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Valiuth
    Joseph Stanko

    Larry3435

    kohana: Bruce Carroll  

    Sure would like to know where you live that you can eat well on $125 a month. 

    Check pretty much any college campus, and you will find folks doing just that.

    You can buy a whole lot of Top Ramen for $125. · 14 minutes ago

    You could, but there are less painful ways of committing suicide. 

    • #22
  23. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Pelayo

    The kids are taking their free school lunch and throwing it in the trash ever since they implemented Michelle Obama’s new menu.  So they are fat according to Michelle, but they are also hungry because they are not eating the “health food” being served.

    • #23
  24. Profile Photo Member
    @ZinMT

    Between free school lunch and breakfast, food stamps, and private charity in the form of food banks there is no excuse for any child in the country to go hungry, and I would say that a parent that allows their child to go hungry is negligent.

    • #24
  25. Profile Photo Member
    @ZinMT

    It used to be that the average food costs for a middle class family cost up to 25% of their income.  The relative cost of food has fallen dramatically in the past 60 years.

    • #25
  26. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MaggiMc

    You’re not kidding.  Ramen is 20 cents a pack.  I fed 5 people a reasonably healthy dinner for about $9, or less than $2 per person:

    3 packs ramen $0.601 bag precut broccoli $2.501 lb lean ground pork $3.001 bunch green onions $0.60 1 bag cole slaw $2.00 (?) 

    Cost of 5 combo meals at a fast food joint?  I dunno, $30?

    Joseph Stanko

    You can buy a whole lot of Top Ramen for $125. · 21 hours ago

    • #26
  27. Profile Photo Inactive
    @MaggiMc

    My son told me that at his middle school they are REQUIRED to take an apple, even if they don’t want it.  He said “most” kids throw them in the trash (I have no idea what REALLY qualifies as “most”).  I said, I’m PAYING for those apples!  If you bring them home, I will make something totally unhealthy and drenched in sugar and fat with them, just for spite.  The waste is staggering.  Now, I will say that I have not seen one apple come home in his backpack yet.  I’m considering docking his allowance for every one he throws away.

    Mario the Gator: The kids are taking their free school lunch and throwing it in the trash ever since they implemented Michelle Obama’s new menu.  So they are fat according to Michelle, but they are also hungry because they are not eating the “health food” being served. · 7 hours ago

    • #27
  28. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Foxfier
    kohana: Bruce Carroll 

    Sure would like to know where you live that you can eat well on $125 a month. I would truly like to know, and what kind of food you are eating.

    I feed a family of four on about $350 a month, and that’s with a lot of splurging on convenience foods.  Seattle blob; I do a lot of shopping around, but I also have an OK grasp of what a “normal” price is so I can buy below it:When I’m responsible and do my own cooking, it’s much less expensive; 2.5lb bag of frozen chicken thighs, $5 (when not on sale), at least five adult male meals.   Bag of frozen veggies, $2, three meals.  20lb of sushi rice, $15-20, probably last a year for a single guy.  Can of chili, $1.  Ground pork, $2.  Ground beef, $2.5 in the cheap tube.  Tuna, $1.  (ouch)

    Your friend’s problem is probably related to being on a special diet, and/or ability to cook meals from scratch.  (I’d suggest “crock pot recipes for diabetics”– it was free on the Kindle store, IIRC.

    …..

    I need to do another “eat cheap” post.

    • #28
  29. Profile Photo Inactive
    @Foxfier
    MaggiMc: You’re not kidding.  Ramen is 20 cents a pack.  I fed 5 people a reasonably healthy dinner for about $9, or less than $2 per person:

    3 packs ramen $0.60 1 bag precut broccoli $2.50 1 lb lean ground pork $3.00 1 bunch green onions $0.60 1 bag cole slaw $2.00 (?) 

    Cost of 5 combo meals at a fast food joint?  I dunno, $30?

    Replace the pork with an egg or two each– boiled or fried, to taste, $1.50– and use chopped, frozen broccoli ($1.50/pack) and it’s even cheaper.

    I <3 my chest freezer, and not just because it means I can stock up on the “party size meals” when they’re on sale for $6.

    • #29

Comments are closed because this post is more than six months old. Please write a new post if you would like to continue this conversation.