06/16/2008 03:00 pm ET | Updated Nov 17, 2011

Empty Shelves, Empty Bellies

By all accounts, the nation's ability to feed its own is at an all-time low. Food banks are reporting shortages not seen for decades. A Google search for "food bank shortages" displayed over two million results. Clearly, there are too many stories about the emergency food shortfall our nation is experiencing. There is plenty of blame to go around on why this is happening. We can only pray that November's election will bring a positive change.

A common myth states that "if you can get a job, you can make a living in America", but the gap between a living wage and jobs that pay a living wage is ever-widening. Living below the poverty line places a massive strain on a household budget and little or no money makes it impossible to purchase adequate and nutritious food.

Many millions of Americans are but one happenstance away from calamity. Many organizations are out there, doing their level best to help with this ever present problem.

Watch a short video here about one such group in New York City. The promotion was produced by Thank you to Bill Gross for his skillful voice-over.

So when our friends and neighbors look for help, they're facing dire shortages of emergency food as they struggle to provide for their families. But, building more food banks and warehouses does not address the long-term causes of hunger. Focusing only on providing emergency food is a never ending, nearly impossible mission.

Robert Forney, with America's Second Harvest says this:

"A2H member food banks have embraced a broader strategy of providing food assistance beyond our historical food aid activities to include efforts in community building, sustainability, and supporting self-reliance activities among our recipients. We strongly encourage ... collaboration and innovations...."

This is a great long term strategy, one that is be applauded, but there are urgent short term dilemmas to address right now.

Hungry kids.

Hungry mothers.

Hungry fathers.

Hungry families.

Hungry elderly.

Hungry Americans.

On behalf of the people who must turn to food assistance programs to avoid going hungry, contact your local food bank. Donate. Give. Help. Volunteer. Make a contribution in any way you can.