The next sad-eyed, impoverished child you see totting donations from developed countries might be the face of an American. Looking to extend a hand to a struggling nation, feed the hungry, and make your positive contribution to the world? It’s America’s turn to receive the condescending hair-pat of foreign non-profit commercials, begging assistance for a helpless nation on its knees from poverty and hunger.
Billy Shore, CEO and founder of Share Our Strength, recently launched a campaign that will air 30 second commercials of concerned foreigners asking for aid to feed America’s starving children. These will air across an average of 65 national TV spots per week, on over 20 national broadcast stations, amassing a total of 130 minutes a month of sad American children begging for mercy from the world’s more fortunate nations.
According to Global Research, more than 46 million Americans are currently living in impoverished conditions. Among these people are hard-working, highly-respected Americans—the type of people that shouldn’t be relying on federal WIC benefits to feed themselves and their children. The campaign website, GreatNationsEat.org, features stories from passionate Americans eager to shed the stigma on food insecurity—Americans like Sgt.Erik Hanno, full-time soldier and infantry man in the Army, with a wife who works full time and takes night classes for nursing.
So far, there are commercials from Germany, China and Slovenia, comparing America’s crippling 20 percent food insecurity rates to the six, eight and 12 percent rates of these nations respectively. According to the campaign, hunger affects 1 in 6 Americans—a food insecurity rate that doesn’t exist in any other developed nation in the world. In the U.S., one in five children—or an approximate 16 million—receives food stamps, according to a government census pulled from last year’s stats from the Current Population Survey’s Annual Social and Economic Supplement containing a 60 year backlog of data on family dynamics.
According to Shore, the problem isn’t necessarily the resources, but rather the social stigma of receiving government support and the politics behind properly allocating the supplies. “The food exists, the programs are in place, they’re funded, but not enough kids are accessing them. So relative to other things, it’s a very solvable problem. But it takes political will,” Shore tells Fast Company. Perhaps this explains why, in 2014, there were only about 3,406,751 Americans enrolled in their national assistance programs known as TANF—Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
The campaign proposes the question of how a great nation can reside on a foundation of hunger—especially when food insecurity results in multiple latent consequences like depression, or diabetes, increasing already outrageous medical expenses while decreasing one’s drive. According to a study published by the Journal of General Internal Medicine, individuals who suffer from food insecurity are more than 25 percent more likely to experience depression. (Not a huge surprise.)
In a highly nationalistic country like the U.S., these commercials are sure to piss some people off—hopefully enough so to spark a larger conversation as to why the fuck 46 million Americans are going hungry. Others will just sit and brood about the patronizing tone of the “feed America” commercials, in which case, you can forward your complaints to the bearded bastard from the Christian’s Children’s Fund commercials.