American Flatbread – Flatbread Kitchen
Friday and Saturday, March 22 and 23, 2002
Tonight’s menu and baking are dedicated to
Toward the End of Hunger
This Friday it is our distinct pleasure to participate in the state-wide benefit “From our table to yours” for the Vermont Foodbank.
Unlike more conventional wars, the war on hunger will never truly end, but that is not to say we face a hopeless battle. Since our efforts in this war took a more vigorous tone starting in the 1960’s, we have made remarkable progress. The dream of creating food security for every member of our society, which once seemed far beyond any reasonable reach, can now be imagined.
The good news, and I share this with an almost overwhelming sense of joy, is that we know how to end hunger! What remains is the fulfillment of the commitment to do so, but on this count I have no doubt that it will be done. As a society, we have come to the conclusion that hunger is a violence against humanity that is wholly and simply unacceptable. After uncounted centuries we are learning how to share our food resources with one another.
As to how this came to be… it is a story of effective government programs and private charity working in consort. It is a story of massive food salvage operations on a national scale by organizations like America’s Second Harvest and can drives by local groups and individuals. Finally, we are coming close to properly scaling our food relief efforts with the size of the problem. In Vermont, there are over 260 member agencies directly interacting with those in need.
The new foodbank warehouse in Barre is moving more food at less cost. Three years ago they distributed a little over 1.25 million pounds of food (in one year) at a cost of ≈ $.45/lb. Last year they distributed over five million pounds at a cost of ≈ $.27/lb. This year they are projecting to ship eight million pounds. The total annual need for Vermont is estimated at 13.5 million pounds. We’re getting there! What a day it will be when we do! Unlike other wars, the defeat of hunger is not a victory we can walk away from. The day after the first hunger-free day, people will wake up and be hungry again, and we will face the challenge all over. But to know that we can succeed changes everything. Now, instead of waking up and wondering, “How?” We will only have to ask ourselves, “Why would we not?”
Thanks for coming,