First World Problems

“Finish your plate, there are starving children in Africa”

As if the food on that plate will be their saving grace;

As though, your satirical sneer will some how 

Send the scraps on your plate 

7,000 miles across the ocean into their mouths.


Remember, we are Americans, the almighty saviors. 

We have no strife within our borders,

So we must pity the foreign poor and needy.


1 in 6 Americans face starvation everyday. 

We seem to forget that America is not Mount Olympus.

That we are humans, not gods. 


Given the gift of agriculture by Demeter,

Yet, we treat those in need like cursed Tantalus,

Dangling food just out of reach.


Fingertips grazing the sustenance

That can be seen,

But not accessed. 



II. 2 in 10 children live in food insecure homes in America.


In high schools, students are anxious.

Stressed because there is no food at home.

They must scrounge through the empty cubbards

Desperately searching for scraps to quell the growls

emanating from the stomachs of their siblings.


There is no New Leaf in the hood. 

No Whole Foods to get their Kale Salads and Kombucha.

Their parents, trade fruits and veggies 

For french fries and nuggets to make ends meet. 


Soda spoon fed into their mouths since infancy

And we wonder why they cannot sit still. 


Kids eat free school breakfasts with voracious speed,

Filling the voids in their stomach caused by capitalistic greed

One spoonful at a time. 



Have you ever seen a child cry because they are hungry?

Not because they missed their afternoon snack,

But because mom's account is in the red 

And she had to choose between groceries or rent.


The scream, reverberates from deep within

Echoing throughout an empty body yearning for padding. 


Ribs, pushing on the skin as every whimper is exhaled. 

Eyes, devoid of happiness. 

Body, weak limp.

The last bit of energy being used to cry out for help. 


IV. Do you really think that no one starves in America? 


Hunger has no boundaries, 

And it does exist in one of the richest countries of the world. 

So think next time you eat. 


Think of where it comes from,

It's impact on the community,

And how many are starving right next door. 


Put less food on your plate, there are children starving in America



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