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First World Problems: It May Not Be What You Think It Is

I was on vacation recently and while I am passionately in love with the beach, beach towns typically have only one  oasis of a “health” food store (unless I’m somewhere in California!) and I was happy to find the one on this particular vacation. And I hit pay dirt because it also had an amazing café with the meanest green juice I’ve had since One Lucky Duck. (And the best salad! A mix of warm wilted spinach and cold crisp romaine! Must. Make.)

So. The sign above was at the juice bar one day and there was a lady holding up the line. She was visibly distressed and asking what she could possibly have to replace the wheatgrass with in her green juice. Spirulina? Super green powder? Plain old spinach? Pause. Grimace. Seconds crawl. I blink. Really? Green juice is good for you but one juice without wheat grass? Ain’t. Gonna. Kill. You. I will bet my own life on it.

This just reminded me of something my friend Regina once wrote (as we experienced electronic communication fail in spite of the fact that we are connected by SMS, twitter, facebook and gasp — phone) – First World Problems. There’s the irony of it: Wheatgrass shortages. Social media fail. Hipster onslaughts. Whole Foods parking lots.

And then there’s the reality of it. And it is surprising.

While some of us have the search for the beach town health food store and wheatgrass supply as our most pressing problems, 50 million Americans are hungry, including 1 of every four children. In the region that The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank serves, more than 380,000 people are food-insecure — that is, they’re not always sure where their next meal is coming from.

Hunger is not just a Third World Problem. It is close to home. It is someone you know.

Last year, the Food Bank distributed 27 million pounds of food. 30% of which went to children under 18. Every Thursday, 500 families come to the Food Bank to pick up fresh groceries. Clearly, even through all the hard work that the Food Bank does, there are so many more to serve.

September is Hunger Action Month. And the Food Bank needs your help.

If you are a blogger, a Tweeter, A Tumblr or a Facebooker (which means I’ve pretty much covered 90% of the population) please participate in the first #blogmob for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. On September 8 at 6PM, I, along with Sue Kerr of the Pittsburgh Tote Bag project (tote bag drives to distribute the Food Bank’s supplies) and a host of other bloggers will #blogmob the Food Bank’s distribution center to see first hand Produce 2 People. Produce 2 People is a monthly distribution of fresh produce.

What we ask of you is to raise awareness about hunger – learn about it, blog about it, tweet about it. Retweet, reblog each other. Use your Klout, your own personal amplification power to educate. To advocate.

Why? Because you can.

#blogmob the Food Bank on September 8.

Details here. RSVP to tara (at) pittsburghfoodbank (dot) org or #blogmob on Twitter.

Follow @brazenkitchen @Tote4Pgh and @PghFoodbank top get updates.

See you there!

8 Responses to “Brazen Bites 09.04: First World Problems”

  1. Katy

    We’ll be out of town this Thursday, but I’ll schedule a blog post about food insecurity! This is a problem I was shocked to encounter in my work with students when I was in graduate school.



  1.  Hunger Action Month: Find Your Local Food Bank « mike eats
  2.  A Free Agent for Hunger: Pittsburgh Tote Bag Project « The Blog

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