Hunger in Dayton: not the face you’d expect

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, one in six Ohio households faces food insecurity.

Now, there’s a new initiative to fight that in the Miami Valley. Tony Hall, former Congressman and U.S. Ambassador to the UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture, is teaming up with the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area.

“We have a problem in Montgomery County,” said Hall when referencing the need in the Dayton region. “We are in the top 10 of hungriest cities in the country, and there’s no other city in Ohio that’s even in the top 25,” said Hall.

Hall said hunger is often hidden. “We’re thinking of hunger like, Sudan or the Congo, or maybe the person on the street holding the sign,” he said. “Hunger in America is women and children and senior citizens. That’s the majority of hungry people.

Hall said they’re not demanding to be fed. He said many times they’re embarrassed.

He said we all have the power to help. He cited something Mother Teresa told him during a trip to Calcutta. “Do the thing that’s in front of you,” he said. “What she meant was, if everybody did the thing that’s in front of them – what’s going on in your neighborhood, your church and synagogue, your food bank – volunteer, help, donate some money. Whatever is going in your sphere, in your environment, just do that. If we did half the stuff that Mother Teresa said… we probably wouldn’t need half the stuff we get from the government.”

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