Hello, my name is Jan Pruitt, President and CEO of the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas, and I have a call to action for all North Texans.
First, I would like to say that our prayers continue to be with families in the Philippines who are piecing what remains of their lives back together after Typhoon Haiyan devastated a their country. Natural disasters bring out the “giver” in us- we are called to help and generously donate time and money to make a difference to people whom we’ve never met, in a land many of us will never see.
As Americans, we have always answered the call, the urgent need, at home and abroad. Today we have an urgent need right here in North Texas. Did you know over 800,000 people in North Texas are Hungry Today? Families, seniors, children. Hungry Today.
Hunger is unacceptable, and we are just the people to solve this issue right here at home. According to statistics from our national office Feeding America, a hunger relief organization, 811,750 North Texans, or more than 1 in 6, are food insecure – uncertain where their next meal will come from. 1 in 4 is a child.
This is unacceptable – especially in a nation where there is enough food for everyone. First, we have to accept the new fact – the faces of hunger look much like our own. It’s the senior – who has worked her whole life, paid taxes and now has to choose between medicine and food. It’s the working parent who is wondering, “What will I feed my family tonight? It’s still three days until payday.” It’s the young child who sits next to yours in the classroom, hunger pangs drowning out the daily reading lesson. It’s the ninth grader who stuffs extra granola bars and bananas into his sweatshirt so he’ll have something to eat that night.
These are not stories from a fairy tale. They are not from a faraway country. They are stories from our own North Texas neighborhoods that often rely on food charity organizations.