Ohio Jones wrote:A "communications desert"? Poor Jeremy
I survived my communications desert last weekend without too many withdrawal symptoms.
I was so far out in the woods that not only did I not have cell phone access, but neither my GPS nor Google Maps were able to provide directions. For a city boy, that’s pretty isolated, but still not as isolated as the Thanksgiving I spent at the Hopi Mission School in Arizona. THAT was isolated.
NMP wrote: I have no problem with helping the poor here in this nation. But I doubt access to food is the problem. We are talking about hunger, not lack of wealth. access to food is a real problem in 3rd world nations. Again I ask how many people die each year due to poverty here in America? According to UNICEF, 24,000 children die each day due to poverty. The largest # I could find is 27. While there is poverty here, I am not a big fan of making a mountain out of a molehill.
NMP wrote: I hope I am never in a car crash anywhere near you. You might leave me to bleed to death while putting band-aids on the scratch of another.
First of all, my apologies if I was overly harsh in my response. My vehemence was rooted in my relationship with broken and suffering people who were dismissed by people in the church for not having the “right” kind or amount of suffering. In my own pastoral experience, the fact that somebody else somewhere else has it is worse is irrelevant. This isn't some kind of zero sum game -- dealing with hunger here doesn't take away from the seriousness of hunger somewhere else and vice versa.
In my experience, arguments for some kind hierarchy of suffering are frequently a way to dismiss the suffering of individuals or a group of people not worthy of our concern.
The question of whether something is a “mountain” or a “molehill” is subjective. You suggest that the dividing line between “mountain” and “molehill” depends on entirely on the amount of people starving to death. Certainly the problem of hunger is more widespread in a third world country than here in North America, but there are many other kinds of consequences to hunger other than starvation, such as negative impact on mental and physical health. According to one of one of the websites
that Bootstrap cited at the beginning of this thread, in 2008, 49.1 million Americans lived in “food insecure households” which included 32.4 million adults and 16.7 million children. This is certainly not a 1980’s Ethiopian famine, but at the same time, I don’t understand why this isn’t a serious issue. It’s certainly a serious and relevant issue for those of us who are ministering to people dealing with food insecurity.
I’m also not sure I understand what you mean by “access.” Our grocery stores certainly have food in them. But if I don’t live close to a store, don’t have a car or can’t afford the products, then I don’t have access to it. The 1996 World Food Summit
by the World Health Organization noted that food security is "built on three pillars:"
*Food availability: sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis.
*Food access: having sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.
*Food use: appropriate use based on knowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation.
So you’re right in part when you argue that --
NMP wrote:I think mostly the problem is lack of ability or knowhow to get the food. Lack of knowledge regarding the price of rice, how to cook with a cheap setup.
But it’s only part of the equation – all three elements need to be present in order to have food security. If I don’t have stores in my neighborhood or can’t drive to a store, then I don’t have food security. If I can’t afford the healthy food that’s for sale, I don’t have food security. If I don’t know how to make good nutritional choices, then I don’t have food security.
"I don't understand," said Gerald, alone in his third-class carriage, how railway trains and magic can go on at the same time."
And yet they do.
-- E. Nesbit, "The Enchanted Castle"