When we turn a blind eye to our neighbors to languishing in poverty we turn a blind eye to our community. The hungry struggle day-to-day for food and waste their potential contribution to society. A hungry person's primary priority becomes where their next meal will come from. All their energy becomes focused on that goal. And as a community, we lose the benefits of their potential contributions.
People are not able to help their neighborhoods if they're always looking for food. They're hungry, they might have kids, and they have to eat.
This creates an endless cycle. Often their neighbors are in the same situation. Since everyone in poverty is trying to help themselves out of poverty, they have no time to help others. Those others have no time to help them because they're in the same situation.
Since no one is there to help each other, people become reliant on the bureaucratic social safety net. Then that safety-net alienates them even further. People struggling with hunger become disillusioned. Their neighbors aren't there for them. The safety-net their tax dollars pay for doesn't give them any long-term solution. Worse, that bureaucratic safety-net humiliates them whenever they seek its help.
This is the persistent system of hunger and poverty in America. A system where we waste the talents and spirits of millions. But that's not all we waste.
Besides, wasting the talents and skills of people in this country we waste over 51% of all the food we grow. Please, let this sink in.
As 182,000 people go hungry on Long Island tonight. Supermarkets on Long Island will be tossing out more than enough food to feed all those people.
There are over 9,000 supermarkets and farms on Long Island. Combined they waste over 27,000,000 pounds of food every night! That's enough to feed every hungry person 45 times over!
Supermarkets over order good food that ends up as surplus. This food gets wasted every night because there isn't a proper system in place to rescue it from the trash. Worse, food waste is a business expense, so when a store wastes food it's actually a tax write off!
People are going hungry on Long Island, and we have more than enough food to feed them. That's got to change, and Community Solidarity has the solution.