Food For Thought

28 May

Oh, my poor maligned readers.  Please feel free to forward all your hate mail to alexjames@state-of-affairs.com dealing with my absurdly long leave of absence.  I promise there’s a good excuse, even though I can’t really put my finger on what it is.  I have a very detailed article coming up about my recent foray to Merry Olde England, but it’s taking me way longer than I wanted it to, so I’m afraid you’re going to have to soldier on a little longer without your daily dose of Uncle Alex.

In the meantime, in the interest of improving the damage I’ve done to my karmic wheel (which has taken enough punishment that it probably resembles a rhombus at this point) I’d like to call your attention to a charity event, coming to a city near you (if your city is Toronto – and really, if it isn’t, you need to move).

Have you ever been hungry?  I don’t mean “oh man, I could really go for a Taco Bell burrito to kill this hangover” kind of hungry, nor am I referring to the kind of hunger brought on by an afternoon-long Cheech and Chong marathon (see aforementioned burrito).  I mean really hungry.  The kind of hungry that makes tree bark look appetizing.  The kind where, if you were to drop your pizza face-down on a streetcar, you wouldn’t think twice about picking off the chewing gum and syringes and chowing down anyway.

You haven’t?  I’m not surprised.  Most people in this country are basically fatted calves who are so used to the convenience of Hungry Man dinners and Taco Bell burritos (wonder where I’m having lunch?) they can’t go for more than a few hours between stuffing their talk-holes with transfat and sodium without keeling over and crushing their rib cages beneath their own ponderous bulk.

But the fact of the matter is that “most people” doesn’t equal “everybody”, even in a country as rich and prosperous as this one.  Over eight hundred thousand Canadian citizens a month swallow their pride and hit up a Food Bank in the interest of filling their bellies with something more nourishing than pride.  A third of those people are kids, and let me be the millionth person to hammer this point home: something is really, really not right with that picture.  I might not like kids (and I don’t) but I wouldn’t stoop so far as to starve them.  What else are we supposed to subsist on when the ecosystem collapses (*Jonathan Swift joke)?

Seriously, though – hunger really shouldn’t be an issue in this day and age, but unfortunately it is.  And until somebody comes up with one of those nifty food slot things from Star Trek (incidentally that will be the same day the human race stops doing anything worthwhile and just sits around ordering high-tech filet mignons) it’s going to continue being an issue.  As a result, the Food Bank is worthy of my lofty attention.

Correspondent Steela Way sent me this video this morning courtesy of the Canadian Food Bank.  The message is pretty self-explanatory:

Like I said, I don’t really like kids, but shit – don’t deny them food.  Otherwise all they’ll do is complain, and as far as I’m concerned, complaining is my bag.

In unrelated news, repairing the karmic wheel is hard.


Anyway, the Food Bank is holding an interesting event at Nathan Phillips Square on Monday June 1st in support of Hunger Awareness Day.  If you’re in the city and down with checking out some fascinating art dealing with the issue of hunger in Canada, I’d suggest you drop by and check it out.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go Think Outside The Bun.

2 Responses to “Food For Thought”

  1. Tim McDonald May 28, 2010 at 12:44 PM #

    Being that I have been in the exact situation you’re talking about (Not when I was a kid but more recently while I was trying to get my education… Thought about eating out of the Thai food place dumpster by my apartment a couple times). It is ridiculous that this country doesn’t support people the way it should, I mean food banks are great but not always convenient. The government really needs to get more serious about the topic. They can release commercials about how 1 in 5 Canadians or something like that have to choose whether they want a roof over their head or to eat and ask us to give money, but as they say for 1 in 5 of us we are barely feeding ourselves and our families so how are we supposed to help out. Charities are great but I know more than a few people who are struggling to get by and the people who aren’t have most likely never been in the situation and really could give a damn about it… It’s a situation of the mildly poor feeding the poor and something should be done about it more so than opening a couple inaccessible food banks.

    First time checking out your blog and I like what I see buddy, don’t be a stranger drop me a line some time.

  2. Dwayne May 28, 2010 at 3:20 PM #

    Brilliantly conveyed and illustrated, Alex. Thank you for the inclusion of the video (which I’ve also cross-posted).

    Well said, Tim, in your reply comment. Kudos need to go out to all of those volunteers who give their time, their commitment and their passion to this cause (and to the so many others serving other critical needs’ populations, as well).

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