In more normal times than now, tens of millions of Americans face hunger and food insecurity in the world’s richest country.
It’s because of widespread poverty, unemployment, underemployment, overall deprivation, and eroding social justice even though vital services are widely needed for the nation’s most disadvantaged.
It’s also because both right wings of the one-party state serve privileged interests exclusively at the expense of public health and welfare gone begging.
The so-called land of opportunity lacks it for its tired…poor…huddled masses…wretched refuse…yearning to breathe free.
America is separate and unequal. The privileged few benefit hugely, including by generous government handouts in good and hard times.
Ordinary Americans get unfulfilled promises in the United States of I don’t care.
Trump, hardliners surrounding him, and most congressional members are indifferent to the rights, safety and welfare of ordinary people at home and abroad.
Tens of millions of Americans are out of work, many more heading to join them, breadwinners with little or no savings — unable to pay rent, service mortgages, cover medical expenses, many dependent on aid to feed family members.
In more normal 2017, over 40 million Americans were food insecure — unable to provide what’s needed for their families.
Around one in six US children don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Millions rely on free or low-cost school lunches that aren’t available because education in America is shut down.
People of color in the US are disproportionately affected. At times now, public need is greater than ever.
On April 8, the ACLU asked the following:
“If COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate, then why are Blacks (in the US) dying at higher rates?”
Why are Black communities hit hardest by the effects of COVID-19 outbreaks?
In Chicago, data show around 70% of COVID-19 related deaths are Black city residents.
In Milwaukee County, it’s 81%, in Louisiana 70%. Clearly what’s happening is from poverty, unemployment, and related issues that affect health and well-being.
Black Americans have higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, asthma, and other diseases than their white counterparts.
While most Americans shelter in place, Blacks and Latinos disproportionately hold jobs in food stores, distribution warehouses, as home health aides, and other positions where social distancing isn’t practiced.
Since Trump took office, his regime presided over the repeal or flouting of anti-discrimination, social and economic justice policies.
For weeks, he dismissively ignored the need for widespread testing. He’s done nothing to aid hard-pressed/low income communities throughout the US.
Meager federal COVID-19 related aid may withhold it from individuals based on prior convictions or arrests.
In US urban areas nationwide, most Blacks are segregated in low-income communities.
Blacks and Latinos comprise about two-thirds of the US prison population, the world’s largest by far — including countless numbers of wrongfully convicted individuals, many others for misdemeanors too minor to matter.
All of the above outside of prison walls relates to widespread hunger in the US during more normal times that’s greatly exacerbated at times like now.
When the nation’s most vulnerable needs federal, state and local help, what’s provided is meager at best, not forthcoming at worst.
Long lines of cars and people on foot beyond what the eyes can see are queued at food banks nationwide for help when it’s the only recourse for poor unemployed Americans with little or no savings.
For them, it’s a perfect storm with no idea of how long their personal crisis will last.
America’s debt-fueled bubble economy burst, COVID-19 the trigger, not the cause. Deprivation for countless millions in the US is likely to be long-lasting.
Many lost jobs are gone because countless numbers of small businesses won’t survive.
Stores, restaurants, theaters, other recreational facilities, and other public places won’t likely see large numbers of people interacting in close quarters for some time, fear of contagion restraining them.
Food banks are overwhelmed by demand and too little supply for the hungry and food insecure. They lack enough volunteers to pitch in and help.
With hotels, restaurants, and schools closed, farmers are destroying crops and other fresh foods for lack of customers, dairy farmers dumping millions of gallons of fresh milk daily because they don’t have the manpower and/or can’t bear the cost of transporting it to food banks.
In hardest hit parts of the US, food pantries and distribution centers are struggling from over-demand and lack of ability to serve it.
National Guard forces are helping in some areas, but it’s way short of manpower needed, along with enough supply to feed the hungry.
Images of what’s going on in the world’s richest country nationwide are heart-rendering.
Large-scale food aid needed in more normal times is greatly overwhelmed by the highest US unemployment heading higher since the Great Depression that could continue for some time.
Its underlying cause is the same at all times — widespread poverty with inadequate resources and government help for essentials to life and welfare.
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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.