Earlier this week I worked in a "recession relief" food pantry, giving out food to (presumably) families that are in need due to the current economic crisis. We handed out hundreds of pounds of carrots, potatoes, onions, rice, beans, and a variety of other items. What was so depressing, though, is that this food would last a family of four a day - maybe. If a family was in real need, they would have to go hungry, or travel to another food pantry.
The entire situation is sadly ironic.
Here I am, an overweight woman whose main problem is I have too much good food, and I'm volunteering to help those who don't have the beginnings of enough food. As one of my spiritual leaders said recently, "There's a distribution problem."
My main problem with eating is that I binge. I find something delightful (banana chips, ice cream, pasta), and then I eat and eat and eat, until way past the time I am full. Yet there are those in the city I live who don't have enough to eat, much less to get fat on.
I often feel guilty about being fat. There is - of course - the guilt of binging, or the guilt of self-loathing, but there is also the guilt of privileged. With luck of the draw I have the problem of too much food, while - and let me be cliche here - there are children starving in Africa. And San Francisco. And every city. One in eight people are hungry in the United States, and I stand with the growing numbers of obese Americans. Let's hope, not for long...