By Rachel Smith – January 21, 2013
Two years ago the number of those hungry in the nation’s capital increased 25 percent.
The high demand of food, shrinking job opportunities, and an increase in low-wage paying jobs created the problem. But it hasn’t been just in Washington, D.C. Many households throughout the country have been suffering and children are especially hit hard. Medical researchers say that children’s brains cannot develop correctly if they are hungry and this could be a future program for the country.
President Obama has been very aware of the dire situation. So he addressed it during his Inaugural speech when he described the American Dream.
“We are true to our creed when a little girl born into the bleakest poverty knows that she has the same chance to succeed as anybody else because she is an American. She is free. And she is equal not just in the eyes of God but also in our own,” Mr. Obama said.
Two capital area organizations are looking forward to the President’s fulfilling his ability to help this little girl and other Americans in her predicament.
Sojourners is one progressive Christian activist organization dedicated to making sure the White House and Capitol Hill remember the less fortunate when devising and redrafting legislation.
“Politicians, they have to understand that they are held to a higher standard than the polls,” said Sojourners Director of Mobilizing Lisa Sharon Harper. “They’re going to be held accountable, not only by history, but I believe by God.”
She went on to tell WEBN Boston that “One day they will have to stand and give account for who they loved through their policies.”
In the last Presidential campaign Sojourners members pushed for the Presidential candidates to address the issue of poverty and hunger. Now, they are working to remind all politicians to keep their promises to those in need.
The Capital Area Food Bank is another organization wanting to see President Obama’s next legislation proposal about poverty.And this food bank has become personal for the President and his family. They visited there to feed the hungry and help the staff.
Capital Area Food Bank has witnessed the increase in hunger, first hand. Director of Communication Page Crosland said the food bank’s last head administrator noticed the increase five years ago. “She realized then that we would really need a much bigger facility to be able to increase our storage and distribution capacity,” she said.
So the food bank raised 37 million dollars through campaigning. This allowed the organization to leave its last place and move into a larger facility on the opposite end of the same street to equip its food pantries to serve the community better.
Both Harper and Crosland say the face of hunger has changed.
Harper recounted one Wall Street banker’s story of falling from a six-figure income to grocery shopping in a food pantry.
Crosland also noticed newcomers to food pantries. “A lot of them have held jobs. They were former volunteers and donors to the food bank,” she said. “And now they’re kind of finding themselves slipping out of the middle class and needing the help of the food bank.”