OUR OPINION: Consider the hungry among us in holiday

All news reporting organizations know as eyewitnesses that many people, as a matter of day-day-existence, are malnourished and outright hungry.

It is easier to report on those unfortunate situations as trends, circumstances and personal adversity. It is more difficult and as important to make a commitment to resolving problems of hunger within a sphere of influence.

Television station WTVA/WLOV, the Daily Journal and many other organizations are making their fourth annual effort in the “Food for Families” drive to make a dent in the problem of hunger during the holidays.

The drive seeks donations of canned goods in great variety and quantity, and drop-off points are intended to make participation convenient.

The drive reaches 17 counties, and all food will remain in the county where it’s donated.

The website http://www.wtva.com/content/special/foodforfamilies.aspx has a complete list and addresses of all dropoff sites in 17 participating counties. The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal is a drop site at 1242 South Green Street, Tupelo, MS 38804.

Mississippi ranks first in terms of food insecurity in the United States:

• Mississippi – 20.9 percent

• Arkansas – 19.7

• Texas –18.4

• Alabama 17.9

• North Carolina 17

• Georgia –16.9

• Missouri –16.7

• Nevada – 16.6

• Ohio –16.1

• California – 15.6

Food insecurity is not a new social pathology in Mississippi. High poverty rates have endured throughout our state’s history, and food issues are always found in parallel with poverty.

The “Food for Families” drive won’t resolve any of the larger issues feeding into food insecurity, but its success can alleviate some hunger situations for at least a brief time in a closely defined area.

In the longer view of charity, consider the plight of the less fortunate, especially in a holiday season with some kind of feasting at its center.