What I want is for somebody to introduce me to a child who is starving in Buncombe County. I have not seen a single one, and it isn’t like I hang around in an ivory tower. In the headlines again is news about Map the Meal Gap. The web site tells us that one in six Americans face hunger. By ConAgra’s definition, which is based on the USDA’s; food insecurity means people do not always have the best of nutritional choices, and may have to choose between groceries and other needs. Oddly, I thought this was a part of life, and I can’t name a single one of my acquaintances who hasn’t been there. But I have never seen a starving child here, and, furthermore, I don’t know anybody so callous that they would pass a starving child without connecting him with food. I contrast that to the obese, spoiled child who, by government standards is living in poverty, but refuses to eat the lunch prepared, choosing instead to throw a tantrum demanding a trip to McDonald’s. I’ve had two kids do that to me on separate occasions.

Anyway, Map the Meal Gap tells us 15-19 percent of people in Western North Carolina are food-insecure. That’s kind of middle-of-the-pack for the country. But then when you look at child food insecurity, WNC is running above 20 percent, and even over 30 percent in some areas. I have only heard stories from literature about mothers who eat their children’s food – and I’ve known one cat who did that.

So, again, my questions are: (1) Where are the starving children in this land of plenty? (2) If they exist, why are they not connected to all the people who would help them if they only knew? And, finally, since I believe that the earth produces enough and to share and that all famines are caused by governments preventing the flow of charity, (3) What is our government doing to fail its people so badly?

P.S. I could link you to the article in the Asheville Citizen-Times, but I must choose between buying food or a paid subscription for this computer, and I consider that perfectly normal.