The Face of Hunger in Washington State in 2013

For many of us, the visual that comes to mind when we think of what hunger looks like, are the pictures that came out of Ethiopia during the famine of the mid-1980's. Those pictures of starving children were dramatic and powerful enough to cause a visceral reaction in each of us, even though we were thousands of miles away. The face of hunger in our State today, admittedly, isn't as provocative as pictures of children with protruding bellies and sunken eyes. Hunger in Washington State in 2013, in fact, looks more like this.

This gentlemen (and his daughter who is sleeping in the background) were beneficiaries of a recent Feed Washington donation of baby formula to the Okanogan County Community Action Council. He had recently gotten custody of his daughter and was struggling to consistently provide her the food she needs. Thankfully, through your donations to Feed Washington, he was able to feed his daughter properly.

It is, admittedly, difficult to have a strong reaction to hunger when hunger is smiling at you. Just below the smile, however, for our State’s hungry, is pain. The pain of unemployment, poverty, and the stress related to making ends meet and putting food on the table. And as the disparity between the haves and have nots increases, so too does the pain. While this image of hunger may not cause us to have the immediate and strong reaction we had to the Ethiopian famine, if we pause for a moment to consider the impact to the fabric of our society from the collective pain of hunger, we will have no choice but to act. It would be impossible not to.

As you look at the picture, I would encourage you to focus on the man’s daughter. She is who Feed Washington is dedicated to helping. She needs our support.

Thanks, everyone.