A Place at the Table: Day 20

Tuesday – Wow. Day 20 already!  Made new batch of chickpeas last night. Cooked rice and sauteed the chickpeas with spices, onion, garlic, ginger, a little spinach and tomatoes. It was really good. I can tell the new bread is of higher quality than last week’s, and I feel better about eating because their aren’t as many artificial ingredients in it. But on my budget, it’s all about price.  Period.

I’ve decided I am going to screen the A Place at the Table Documentary for the Bible study group that is fasting with me.  The faces, stories, and struggles of the families featured in the film won’t leave my mind.  I highly recommend you see it.  If it’s not playing in a theater near you, you can rent it and stream it online through iTunes and Amazon.

The size, scope, and sheer weight of the problem of hunger and malnutrition is so large I wonder how we, as a nation, much less I as an individual can begin to do anything about it.  I feel helpless, honestly.

The Apostle Paul wrote that “anyone unwilling to work should not eat” (2 Thessalonians 3.10), which was famously quoted by John Smith at Jamestown. Ever since, this sentiment has formed part of our American culture ethos.  It still shapes our attitudes toward the poor.  And I don’t disagree with it, generally speaking.  But that’s not we’re talking about here. We’re not talking about people unwilling to work.  By and large, we’re talking about people who cannot work (because they have lost their job or because they cannot find a job) or who are working and yet cannot afford enough to eat because their wages are so paltry.  More than that, what they can afford to eat is slowly killing them because their food is mostly sugar, salt, chemicals, and other empty calories.  It’s wrong, immoral, and unjust.  And it’s directly related to the current economic reality represented in this graph (taken from the YouTube video that’s been making the rounds of late, “Wealth Inequality in America”):

Wealth Inequality in America


Lord, help us.  Amen.

Leave a comment


  1. Jill Andrews

     /  March 11, 2013

    I have so much enjoyed following you – Gary is a Facebook friend who graciously shares your posting. Sen Ron Johnson R-Wisconsin commented today there has been a significant increase in food stamps usage in the last few years and we have to rein in the costs to these type of “entitlement” programs. When asked about corporations hiding their income outside the US, he blamed our unfair tax policies. Mike Barnacle became irate and called the corporations a disparaging word, and said in effect, why are you using an example of food stamps when you know that is scratching on an open sore for many people. He stated that the rise in food stamps is due to the high unemployment . . . or didn’t he understand that . . . I respect so much what you are doing to understand and “walk the talk”. Jill Andrews


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