09/21/2011 11:49 pm ET | Updated Nov 21, 2011

Whose Responsibility Is It to Feed America's Hungry?

Hunger is a deplorable problem in America. We all know that every child should have breakfast; working parents should be able to support a family; and seniors should be able to afford both medication and food.

But whose responsibility is it to make sure that the basic needs of our neighbors are met? Yours? Mine? Charities'? Corporations'? The government's? The reality is that everyone needs to join the effort to fight hunger in America today.

Hunger has a devastating effect on the health of our nation. It diminishes our educational system, weakens our workforce, destroys our communities, undermines our security, lessens our spending power, and cripples our ability to compete in the global economy.

I am struck by a story I heard from one of our food banks in Indiana. A school outreach coordinator, whose job it is to connect local children and their families with city resources, informed us that the parents of her students often work two or three jobs, and still can't earn enough to cover the cost of bills and food.

Through the Gleaners Food Bank of Indiana's BackSack Program, she is able to serve only 30 of the many students who don't get enough to eat. She told us, "if we are able to just provide those kids with food on those Saturdays and Sundays when they're not sure if anything will be on the table, then, hopefully, they will do better in school than they're doing right now."

Food is a basic of human life, and without it, everything else suffers.

Every person and every sector has an obligation to help our fellow citizens and ensure America's prosperity. Hunger is an urgent issue in America, and we must do something about it now. Not tomorrow or next year, but now. People are suffering today.

September is Hunger Action Month and countless individuals, non-profit organizations, business and elected officials are taking action to end hunger in their communities. Right now, more than 150 Feeding America food banks are hosting events to raise awareness, food, funds, volunteers and support that will help them feed men, women and children all year long.

You can help too. Visit or contact your local food bank to find an event or learn how you help fight hunger this month. Every person has a duty to support their community and their country. Take action, help your neighbors. There is no time to wait.