This afternoon my daughter and I walked with other members of our UU Church in the Austin Crop Hunger Walk, an annual fundraising and education event sponsored by the Church World Service. After a week of rain, the sunny, breezy 2.4-mile walk around Camp Mabry grounds was a treat.
Proceeds from the walk benefitted both the CWS, a non-profit that promotes grass-roots efforts to combat hunger globally, and several local organizations involved in hunger advocacy and service, including the Central Texas Food Bank, Casa Marianella, Sustainable Food Center, and Refugee Services of Texas.
Posted along the walk route were signs with information about the Reach Every Mother and Child Act, a legislative initiative to address preventable maternal and child deaths among vulnerable populations. Also positioned along the route were tables staffed by Austin Community College speech students who offered brief presentations on global issues, such as lack of access to clean water in Vietnam and Argentina and land inequality in Guatemala. Hunger, after all, is about poverty; it is not really a technical problem but a social one. There is enough land, water, and food to sustain everyone, but access to these is not fairly distributed.
Freedom from hunger is a human right and basic condition for health maintenance and disease prevention. If you share this view, I encourage you to donate to or volunteer for your local food bank and to contact your representatives to oppose budget cuts to SNAP and additional restrictions on the program, such as the Trump administration’s proposal to limit beneficiaries’ ability to choose their own foods in favor of “USDA food packages.”
To close, here are a few hunger-themed haikus that I composed in exchange for donations to support today’s walk:
Soil, wind, sun, and rain
Bellies alive and growling
For soup pot magic
Who owns the
Recipe for food?
From the loam
Life eats what earth gives,
Which is life.