To the editor:
During the holidays, many Kansas families will celebrate by sharing a meal together. While feasting with loved ones, we should remember that hunger is a reality faced by too many in our country. We live in the world's wealthiest nation, yet nearly 49 million Americans struggle to put food on their tables. This year, 1 in 5 children in our country will face hunger. In Kansas alone, more than 14 percent of our neighbors are uncertain about where their next meal will come from.
While hunger is a problem facing too many Americans, the pangs of hunger are felt by many more across the world – impacting nearly a billion people. I have traveled to regions of the world that suffer from severe malnutrition, such as Sudan, where more than 90 percent of the population struggles with poverty and food insecurity. We must address the immediate needs in our communities, but I believe we also have a responsibility to help put an end to hunger in developing countries through responsible investments in food aid and development.
As co-chair of the Senate Hunger Caucus, I introduced an amendment earlier this year to set aside funds for development aid programs that reduce hunger in poor, crisis-prone communities and to help people provide food for themselves and their families on a long-term basis.
You too can make a difference. This holiday season, I encourage you to remember those who are less fortunate by donating to a hunger-relief organization, volunteering at a local soup kitchen or contributing to a local food pantry. You can also look for opportunities to help in your local community by visiting www.kansasfoodbank.org or www.harvesters.org.
This Christmas, I hope you will be mindful that it is "more blessed to give than to receive." By working together, we can make a difference in a hungry world.