Plan for hungerPublished 11:33am Thursday, July 26, 2012
Daily Herald editorial
This summer’s drought and its likely impact on food prices make more urgent than ever the need to address the problem of hunger.
More of the United States’ cropland is threatened by a widespread drought than at any time in decades, and a relatively small harvest is almost certain. Commodity prices are already rising, with corn at about $8 a bushel and soybeans nearly at $17 a bushel — both much higher than earlier this year. The result will be increased food prices.
Couple that news with increasing poverty throughout the nation and it makes clear, once again, how urgent it is to develop strong efforts to combat the problem of hunger. Throughout the nation, including in the Austin area, a significant percentage of people are forced to go hungry nearly every day because they cannot afford to buy food. Government programs designed to fight the problem are badly flawed, and many wonderful private efforts are isolated from each other.
Meanwhile, laws designed to make food safe also mean that tons of good food are thrown away every day in every city throughout the country. Some of those problems are beyond local reach. One is not: it is within every community’s grasp to coordinate its food delivery efforts to ensure that the maximum number of people get help.
From poverty rates to drought, the signs all point to the need for a coordinated effort to help end hunger — here and throughout the nation.