FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty
When you're sitting around your Thanksgiving table next week, here's something to think about:
Nearly 50 million Americans or 1 in 6 struggled to get enough to eat last year. That includes almost 1 in 4 children.
The Agriculture Department is out with a shocking report showing the highest number of hungry Americans since the government started tracking this in 1995.
It shows food shortages are especially bad among women raising children alone - with more than 1 in 3 single mothers saying they struggled for food. And, African-Americans and Latinos were more than twice as likely as whites to say that food was scarce in their home.
Experts say these numbers are even worse than what they expected... The president of a group called "Feeding America" says "This is unthinkable. It's like we are living in a Third World country".
President Obama calls the report "unsettling"... and says more needs to be done. He points to steps his administration has taken... like additional spending on food stamps, food banks and school lunch programs.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says it's a "wake-up call" to get very serious about food security, hunger, and nutrition. Vilsack says the main cause is the rise in unemployment, now above 10% and acknowledges the number of Americans going hungry could be even worse this year.
SO HERE'S THE QUESTION:
With Thanksgiving coming up, what does it say when 1 in 6 Americans goes hungry?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
George in Austerlitz, New York“Experts say these numbers are even worse than what they expected..." Really? Experts cannot see that the economy for the working poor has been growing worse for decades? Experts cannot see that the "middle class" has been shrinking for decades?
Experts can't see that homelessness, including for children, is at or near epidemic proportions, and that the few of us who can still help have less resources to go further? What are they experts in??? I'm just askin'.
Mark in Anna, Illinois
It is very sad to hear this; we are in bad times now. In this country, we’ve always seen charities giving to other countries in need, which is not a bad thing. But what they should really be doing is taking care of Americans first. When all of our people have been taken care of, then they can try and take care of others. We need to take care of our people first.
Ralph in Chicago
We have food stamps that should be used for food, not sold for drugs or alcohol. We have children having children. We have fathers who have no idea what it takes to raise a child because they are in jail. Government can only do so much.
Terry in Illinois
America has lost its guiding light. America is spending "trillions" in Iraq and Afghanistan trying to protect oil for oil companies and to rebuild those countries, yet Congress in America continues to argue about extending unemployment and other programs to help Americans who are out of work and the poor without food, shelter, etc. Greedy American capitalism has ignored the less fortunate.
It says we all need to step up to the plate, and not wait for the government to solve this problem. If you live in a big city, donate to the food pantries. If you live in a small town, you know who needs help. Help them out. In this situation, ordinary people can do more to solve the problem than any administration can.