Today’s show is the first time that I’ve been in the studio without a co-host or a scheduled guest – ever! I debuted the show on September 25, 2011, and so this is our 93 program. And in every other one I’ve had at least one co-host or guest to share the microphone with me.
So today was a new adventure for yours truly! And I started conversations on a variety of topics. It’s always been fascinating to me how few topics it actually takes to springboard off of to fill a two hour radio program. I started out with the immense problem that is to be found in almost every community in America- Hunger! Hunger in America, for all ages, is almost invisible to most of us. We think of the pan handler on the street corner with a sign that reads something like “will work for food”. Well, I can assure you that Hunger is ubiquitous in this country. And it is almost always hidden. So many children go to school each morning without any breakfast, and if not for the school programs, would not have any nourishment of benefit that morning.
Senior citizens have to make daily choices between food and medicine; food and heat or air conditioning; food and a few dollars for their children or grandchildren. Food insecurity is a fixable problem in these United States, and the solutions are not as difficult as one might imagine.
We also rambled into “what does age look like to you”; embracing the aging process; life changes as we age; caring for the less fortunate among us; volunteerism; and the importance of exercise to maintain muscle mass.
Joel Berg, the Executive Director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger was my guest on this program. I interviewed Joel at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Charlotte, North Carolina on July 25th. Mr. Berg was giving a talk to a group of volunteers for AARP.
I was invited to interview Mr. Berg by Michael Olender, Associate State Director of AARP for North Carolina. Joel Berg is also the author of : All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America. He also worked in the Clinton Administration in 1992.
Our far ranging conversation covered the SNAP (food stamp) program, the low incidence of fraud in that program, school breakfast and lunch programs, hunger among the growing senior adult population in America, and possible solutions to the formidable problem of hunger, or ‘food insecurity’ if you will, in this country.
Not having enough to eat, on a daily basis, is a major factor in our society that impacts everyone from the young to the oldest old. School age children are less able to focus and learn when they do not receive sufficient nutrition, and older Americans are more likely to exacerbate failing health without proper food intake. Many older Americans are forced to choose between buying food, or their needed medicine, or paying the utility bill. In a country with the wealth and blessings that America possesses, we at the least, should be able to feed our people.
Thanks for listening, and I welcome your comments.