No One Should Starve — Food Should Be Free

Jesus would damn you to hell.

No One Should Starve — Food Should Be Free
Photo by Anna Pelzer / Unsplash

I have strong feelings about feeding the poor, and it’s biblical in nature. No, I’m not a religious zealot but I liked what Jesus said and did. He fed the hungry; if he were here today, he’d send most of us to hell. If you don’t support free school lunches, feeding the homeless, or making food available for free to every man, woman, or child who needs it, you should go to hell.

My opinions on this were formed when I lived in New Mexico. There was a lot of poverty in New Mexico and there’s still a lot of it today. One day, when I was inspecting some bridge work, I ran into an inspector from the City. I had known him for a while because we both worked on another project next to the bridge.

We got to talking about work and then life. I don’t remember how we got onto the topic of poverty but I blurted out, “I think they should give these people free food.”

He got silent and looked me straight in the eye and said, “I don’t want to give those lazy fuckers free food.

I was left speechless because I never thought someone could be so cruel or insensitive, considering he wore a cross on his neck.

That interaction was just another data point in my awakening that the majority of people are selfish and have the “Fuck you Jack, I got mine” attitude.

We live in an age of plenty. We have never been more abundant with food than ever in the history of the world. So, why do we still have food-insecure families, especially in the wealthiest country in the world?

I wrote this response to an article Jessica wrote:

We live in such an age of abundance but it’s wasted. The world would be radically different if everyone had secure access to food and clean water. The health of people would skyrocket.

Yes, we waste this abundance because it’s not profitable to share. It’s all about the money and the Protestant ethos around work and laziness. If you are perceived to be lazy then you can’t eat.

This level of myopia is interpreted this way by religious zealots who conveniently forget the “lesser among us.”

If you’re mentally ill and can’t work, God cursed you with demons and you’re lazy.

Got raped by your Dad and now you’re pregnant and kicked out? Stop being such a slut and keep the baby. Oh by the way you’re lazy. Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, slut.

Are you a senior citizen who gets evicted from his apartment? You didn’t budget enough money and you’re lazy for being in this pickle in the first place.

My mind spins all the time from these mental contortions that people, religious or not, make in order NOT to give a hungry person food.

It boggles my mind because it hits close to home. I live in a wealthy town and we have a food bank. We have over 20 families in my rich town that are food insecure. We have families come up from more urban areas of New Jersey once a week to visit our food bank.

There are kind people out there that help and there are some government programs. I once worked with a divorced woman who had two small children. She could barely afford the rent on her apartment, the gas to drive to work, and raising her children. She was enrolled in the WIC program which helped her get enough food for herself and her kids.

The good news is that our community responds. My family donates, our friends donate, and the County donates turkeys for Thanksgiving. Some people help and want to see governmental support programs expanded.

Then there are the people who want to rip away food from children in school.

Then some people arrest grandmothers for feeding the homeless in public parks.

What is going on with our country? What is going on with our society? We’re criminalizing hunger.

I’m not religious but there was a time when I was indoctrinated by the Jehovah’s Witness cult. They sure loved the power of Jehovah to smite down the harlots and other undesirables. They talked of how one bad apple spoils the bunch.

The one thing they never understood but it caught my ear when I would hide in the bathroom, was this passage from Matthew 25:40 (NIV):

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Jesus, if he existed, was an interesting dichotomy and a complete departure from the war like Jehovah. He preached love and helped those in need. He reached out to all people, regardless of faith. He hung around with the “least of us brothers and sisters.”

A lot of people miss this part. Many people in power claim to follow Jesus but are enamored by the power religion can yield to control the masses. They want to turn the United States into a Christian nation but miss that passage completely.

Wise asses will say to me, “Uh, Tom should we give these people steaks too? How about beer, isn’t that liquid bread? Haha!”

Dumbasses. Here’s the plan.

Basic foodstuff should be free. Things as rice, pasta, beans, healthy vegetables, non-perishable items, sanitary pads and tampons, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and simple healthcare items.

I’m not advocating we give food-insecure families alcohol or expensive steaks, just the basics foodstuff so they can cook themselves and their family a healthy and nutritious meal.

I propose that school children should have a free hot lunch (and breakfast), every one of them, and not have it be a sandwich.

We should expand programs on the local, state, and federal levels so that all people in the United States can get food at any time and it should be paid for by taxing the Elon Musk and the Jeff Bezos of the world.

There I said it, raise taxes on the rich to fund these programs. They need to pay their fair share and they’ve been delinquent in upholding their end of the social contract.

The social contract was always this, if you had plenty or extra food, you shared it. Feeding the hungry is something that’s an instinct for normal people. It’s so primal to sit together and break bread.

To laugh, talk, eat together, and share.

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