Hungry in America

hungry kid in america small townHunger is a powerful thing. In a country where status and positioning get valued above happiness, shame can be even more powerful.  Shame has a way of hardening up like a thousand pound bead of amber that drops through the depths of your heart and deposits itself on the very bottom of you. It’s still there but it can no longer be seen. It’s only until you bring shame to the surface and deal with it, that you can let it go.

Shame can stop you from doing things. It can stop you from admitting to doing something wrong. Or even telling the truth about something you did right. Shame may be the main reason why childhood hunger is such a huge problem. Struggling families with kids feel so much shame they don’t take the help that’s available to them. Often, shame trumps the pain of hunger.

My most recent post about Share Our Strength (an organization looking to eradicate childhood hunger in America) wasn’t as honest as it could have been. I let deadlines take precedence over the need to be honest. I did a little research, quoted a few good stats, and attached a recipe. Infused vodka makes a very nice gift. That’s enough, right?

The thing is, I was afraid to tell the truth. I was once a hungry kid.

I hesitate to write this for fear of hurting anyone in my family. Yes, I was hungry once. No, I wasn’t hungry for long stretches of time. But the pain of being hungry as a child and powerlessness I felt because of it, marked me. Neglect lived everywhere in my childhood home. But nothing affected me as much as the neglect I experienced in the kitchen.

That’s why I’m taking the time to circle back, get humble, and open myself up to the honest truth. Because, in order for me to do the work that I’m supposed to do in service and in writing, I need to be vulnerable and honest in everything I put down on the page.

Luckily, I don’t have lots of memories of being hungry. But one day in particular–the day I tried to get help—sticks with me. It sticks with me because the cry for help was ignored and judged by a trusted neighbor.

Perhaps it’s vanity (or fear, or even shame) that keeps me from remembering the general year of the shameful day, but it was during an exceptionally rough period when my parents fought day and night about the finances. The memory starts in the kitchen of my house. I’m eight (maybe nine) and I’ve just gotten home after a day of middle school. I’m with my little brother (he’s five or six), and we’re alone. I don’t recall if my mother left us a note telling us where she had gone, or what. All I know is that at that moment I was certain that my father was at his job in Boston. Because that’s where my father always was. At work.

I remember my brother whining. He was hungry. I felt it too.

I climbed up onto the counter to get a good look inside the kitchen cupboards. I found only jars of dried lentils, spices, and boxes of tea. A bag of cereal hidden away in the back of the cabinet caught my eye. I poured the contents into two bowls, only to find worms crawling inside. I screamed, and then quickly pretended there was nothing wrong. I didn’t want to frighten my baby brother. It was important to be responsible and be a good older sister. I shouldn’t scare him with details.

I remember the feeling of panic filling my small body as I peeked inside a bag of rice and flour and found the similar pattern of worms and dusty moths. The refrigerator was no better. It was a display box for little jars of mustard and ketchup. The crisper saved shriveled carrots and rubbery celery for our garbage pail.

Frustration overtook me. How could there be nothing for us to eat? Why didn’t we get to have chicken nuggets or white bread sandwiches with the crust cut off, just like the other kids? The Brady Bunch never had to go through this sort of thing.

“That’s it,” I yelled. “I can’t take this any more.”

I did the only thing I could think of. I grabbed my green winter coat, put on my boots, and headed for the door.  I didn’t have a specific plan. All I knew was that we needed a snack. I told my brother I’d be right back.

I recall walking the long driveway to the Drinkwater’s family home on tip-toes. I wasn’t sure why, but I thought it would be better to reduce the noise of my boots on the iced driveway as I approached the house. I should be nice and quiet, I thought. Anything to be respectful. I was about to ask for something.

I eyed the neighbor’s Volvo station wagon. Several sets of skiis were mounted to the roof. The Drinkwaters—the pilot dad, the stay at home mom, and the perfect blonde boys—were the closest thing I knew to filthy rich neighbors. As far as I was concerned, this idea of mine was going to be easy. These people were sure to have more than enough food to spare. They were going to thank me for taking all their extra cookies and white bread off their hands.

Once I got to the Drinkwater’s front door, I rang the doorbell. I recall waiting in silence as I daydreamed about the peanut butter and Marshmallow fluff sandwiches I’d soon be eating. The front door opened and Mrs. Drinkwater, a short woman with a perfect S-curve of blond hair—opened the door. She was dressed in business clothes and had a stern look on her face.

I remember thinking in that brief moment that maybe I should run away. But it was too late. I had committed myself to the act of begging. I had to feed my brother and me.

“Yes?” she said. She stared at me with a detached air that reminded me of all the rich people I had ever met.

“We’re hungry,” I said. “There’s nothing in our house to eat.”

Mrs. Drinkwater said nothing for what felt like hours.  I looked downwards in shame. Her gaze was like screws going into my skin. My eyes landed on my dirty winter coat.  I saw yellow marker stains and grease spots at the cuffs of my turtleneck with strawberries on it. I pulled my arms behind my back. I prayed she hadn’t noticed.

“Where is your mother?” she asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. Just past Mrs. Drinkwater’s storm door I could see the living room. It was perfect and clean. The house smelled like Sloppy Joes.

“There’s nothing in your house to eat?” she said. My face went warm. I was ashamed for thinking she could actually understand my need for help. Why wasn’t she inviting me in?

“And your father? Where is he?”  she asked. More judging. I remember thinking that everyone was going to find out that I was stupid and poor.

“He’s at work,” I said.

She gripped the glass storm door. I couldn’t understand why she kept me outside on her snowy front step. I shifted my feet inside my rubber boots. The fake fur had rubbed away and all I could feel were my bare feet against rubber and snow. It was then I realized I had made a very big mistake. I couldn’t trust this woman for her help.

I looked over my shoulder at my house. It seemed so far away from me now.

“I’m sorry to have bothered you,” I said.

“I will talk to your mother,” Mrs. Drinkwater said. The click of the knocker as the door closed was as loud as a yelled insult.

I cut through the woods so that the trees could mask my slow walk home.  The quiet, everywhere sound of my boots crunching in the snow sounded so sad I thought I could cry. Even though I lived in that house until I graduated high school, I never went back to the Drinkwater’s house again. I don’t know that I’ve even ever looked up their driveway ever since.

I wish the story ended with Mrs. Drinkwater taking me aside and giving me a little money. Or how a casserole miraculously appeared on our front door the next day. But the real ending, was actually a long, slow end that came in the form of many tears, more hungry days, and lots of dealing with the neighbor’s awkward looks.

Poor on the Inside

No matter how hard I tried to act like all the cool kids, I always knew my secret was out. Everyone knew I was poor and pretending to be middle class. Our house might have looked nice enough on the outside, but on the inside, the rooms gave my family’s financial woes away. Our hand-me-down couch was covered with sheets. Our windows didn’t have curtains or shades. I knew we had money enough for a house, but not enough money for all the bills. Some days the phone didn’t work. In winter my brother and I loaded up the wood stove with logs my father cut so we wouldn’t have to burn expensive heating oil.

So what do I think about Mrs. Drinkwater now? Well, lots. I feel sorry for the woman. A person who would not help a neighbor’s child is small and fearful. I feel angry, too. How she could ignore a hungry child and serve only a large helping of judgment is something I will never understand. Maybe she had her own secrets. Maybe she had an inner pain so deep she was trying to protect me from it. Who knows. All I know is that the adult I am today wishes she could have been the kindly neighbor with a gracious nature, an abundant larder, and the simple grace to show up unannounced to my childhood home with a casserole.

But what happened, happened.

Childhood hunger in America is a hard issue to look at because the people who are affected don’t always fit stereotypes. Some hungry kids are clean cut, good looking, or rough-around-the-edges and doing their best to keep up appearances.  A hungry child will often do anything it takes to maintain whatever normalcy and routine they have because there isn’t much else left in their lives with structure.

A hungry child is vulnerable little human without many options. I know because I was one.

  • Donate to Share Our Strength ($25 can help feed a child three meals a day for a month, $100 will give 25 full grocery bags of healthy food to a hungry family)
  • Raise money for a family in need on the crowd sourcing/social media fund-raising site, Crowdrise.
  • Donate your time to a local shelter.
  • Make a care package for a person in need.
  • Sponsor a family in need.


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Food Woolf Written by:

Brooke Burton is an Los Angeles-based restaurant professional and hospitality expert. She is a freelance food writer, speaker, and co-author of The Food Blog Code of Ethics.


  1. Brooke, this post is unbelievable – on so many levels. I am so sorry to hear not only about about the childhood hunger you guys faced but that poor, poor woman. She lost the battle of humanity & you guys won. I hope everyone who visits this post reads every single word. I am hanging on each one. I would NEVER want to be that horrible woman – nor could I ever bear to leave my children hungry. I made a pledge to SOS the other day & I will be backing up that pledge regularly. No child (or anyone for that matter) should go hungry – ever. XO

  2. Leah
    December 12

    Oh my darling, Brooke. The honesty and poetry of your writing is heart-wrenching, like little pins of truth that poke holes in everything we know. Thank you for sharing. Never stop sharing. Writing through that shame means you are full of the love and compassion that you needed, and will help open people’s eyes to all the kids they know and what they might be hiding too. Thank you.

  3. Noelle
    December 12

    This is a beautifully written piece. Thank you for sharing.

  4. December 12

    Hi Brooke, I really appreciate your re-telling of this painful tale. Most of my childhood (until I was a teenager) was spent getting food donations and many, many hungry days. If it wasn’t for our church and family members my brothers and I certainly would have come much too close to starving. For me, our poverty and all the consequences of it followed me like a black cloud most of my young life. Now as I am approaching 30 I don’t embrace those days but I no longer feel shame. I am who I am because of all the days of my life and for that I am grateful. I hope your past feels your heart with pride no that you were strong enough to honesty write being a hungry kid.

  5. Thank you so much for your honesty. What an amazing story you have and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy one to tell. I think, in a way, you learned a lesson from her because you are such the complete opposite of Mrs. Drinkwater. Your kindness and humble heart permeate through every pore in your body. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been amazed (almost stunned) at your gift of service and hospitality. Your story a wonderful reminder to take a look around and serve those around me, and also remember that each day there are children who are hungry and it is our duty to take care of them.

  6. December 12

    Brooke – It must have been both liberating and painful to put this out there. Your writing is beautiful and your story is probably familiar to lots of people. It is to me. Thanks so much for sharing this with us all.

  7. December 12

    Brooke, I’m always amazed at your touching, insightful writing. This is an exceptional post and I admire you so much for telling your story. Through your words and actions you are inspiring every day.

  8. Tears are spilling. I’m sorry this is part of your past, but I’m glad you shared it with us. The strength it takes to write publicly about things like this in one’s past is immeasurable. Sending hugs, love and admiration for your honesty.

    And it may be small-minded of me, but I hope Mrs. Drinkwater is cold and lonely right now.

  9. December 12

    brooke, brooke, brooke. the depth of your honesty is awe inspiring. your recollection of that sad day is both poignant and heart felt. that was a big responsibility for an eight year old to handle. thank you so much for sharing your memories with us. it makes me feel all the more grateful for a full pantry, a packed fridge and the ability to eat when ever I want. This makes me want to do more….xx

  10. Im gonna say ANON
    December 12

    I think this post was great and powerful but I also think you should have compassion for that woman. nobody knows what was going on with her that day and maybe she misunderstood or just learned her mother had cancer or something. Maybe she was drunk or confused or had dimentia. Is it fair to call her out like that?
    sorry I didnt give my name, but I dont want backlash for saying this. I do support SOS and I do feel sad you had such a rough time and the post was strong and inspiring.

  11. December 13

    Thank you for sharing your story with all of us. It moved me to tears. I appreciate your honesty and willing to share in your posts. Hopefully more people will read your post and feel the urge to do something. I Know it has moved me to help out more. Kids shouldn’t have to be without food, especially during the holiday season!

  12. Brooke, It’s obvious it took a lot of digging within to muster the courage to write this post. Trying to remember such a private and difficult time experienced in your childhood, one which I’m sure you’ve worked hard trying to forget. Just know your voice and work are being heard and appreciated. I just hope if there are any Mrs. Drinkwater’s reading your story, they will think twice before judging and welcome that hungry child into their home with open arms and offer them a warm meal.

  13. December 13

    Thank you so much for your honesty. I know what it’s like to blog without opening yourself up to the full emotional honesty potential of your experience, but there’s something about straightforward honesty in blogs that makes a difference…a huge difference. Bringing awareness to the problem of child hunger in America is a worthy, wonderful thing, and I am relieved and glad to see such a post.

    Again, thank you.


  14. December 13

    Wow – wow, wow, wow. This post took a lot of deep courage, Brooke. It honestly made me take a look in the mirror… would I be like your neighbor was or what your dream neighbor was like?
    Thanks for pouring out so much emotion in your posts.

  15. Dear Brooke,

    You are truly a gifted writer and I know writing this story could not have been easy but I hope in doing so some of the pain you’ve held in your heart has been released. You are a strong person Brooke – your experiences as a child could easily have closed your heart forever – but it didn’t and it shows in every piece that you write.
    Sadly, there will always be Mrs. Drinkwater’s in the world – people who will not or can not help those in need. When I hear these stories, I have to remind myself that they are the exception and not the rule!
    You made an excellent point – that it’s not just raising money to feed people that is the problem but also helping those in need to accept it – we are in desperate need of more casseroles on doorsteps I think.
    Thank you for reminding me to keep my eyes and my ears wide open for those opportunities.

  16. December 13

    powerful, raw, courageous, truthful – all words that describe what you have written so beautifully. but these words apply as well: hopeful, empathy, understanding, compassionate, gentle, wise

    you’ve taken your experience and have given it a new power, spun with a positive energy that can change the world, Brooke. i said in my own post that as a single mother of two, we never went hungry because we always had my family to feed us when i couldn’t – i’m forever grateful that my children did not have experience what you did as a child. and i’m proud to be a fellow blogger because this post, is what it’s all about – these kinds of posts can have real impact on our society as a whole; it’s easy to get carried away with the fluffy, happy recipes and we get caught up in our numbers, our photos and the whatnot – but this dear Brooke, is where the real power lives. thank you.

  17. I really appreciate you sharing this Brooke. This will touch so many people and encourage people to act. Thank you. It also reminds me that I need to be as generous as possible as often as I can, especially with my neighbors!

  18. Wow. I don’t know you (yet!) but am so grateful for your honesty and your support of Share our Strength. You are very brave to share this story and I admire you for plowing though the experience and coming out the other end as a better person. Shame on your neighbor. I pray that I never treat people that way…xoxo

  19. December 13

    Brooke, thank you for sharing such a personal story filled with raw emotion. I wish I had more time to chat with you at your writing workshop at the Foodbuzz festival, but I’m glad I can read your blog now.

    SF Readers, you can help donate $2 to the SF Food Bank by showing of your local foodie knowledge on this quiz (money is generously donated for every person who takes the quiz!):

  20. Deborah Reid
    December 13

    Thank you so much for sharing that. It was a great honour to read. Beautiful, human, brave…

  21. December 14

    So courageous of you to share such deep and personal pain. As I read your words, I could visualize that 10 thousand pound amber bead that has been sitting so quietly inside for so long, melting away into a tiny grain of sand. Now you can hold it in your finger tips, but don’t throw it away. It’s an important piece of who you are. And I find, while traveling through this journey of life, that those are the most powerful pieces to have.

    • Food Woolf
      December 14

      Wow. Thank you so much for your thoughtful and inspiring comment. Yes. I will keep the grain of sand so that I can remember the grit that brought me to where I am now. I appreciate your words very, very much. thank you!

  22. Thank you for sharing your story. I work with Share Our Strength too, but it’s sometimes hard to remember the reality of hunger for children and how it affects them. Even though it exists all around us. So I’ll say it again. Thank you. Thank you for reminding us that what we do and how we respond to children in need really does matter, and that even just one moment of kindness (or the lack of it) will be remembered for a lifetime.

  23. December 14

    Oh. My. I have a baking blog; a silly little baking blog that wastes lots of food and money on making prissy little baked items. Thank you for reminding me that I need to make more of a difference in the world than I am now. Thank you for sharing your story and reminding us what we already know and don’t take the time to act on. I shared this on my Facebook Page. Beautiful writing.

    • Food Woolf
      December 14

      Sweet and Crumbly,
      You know what, it’s perfectly normal to be lost in the momentum of life and forget. Even I forget MYSELF, where I came from, and where I’ve been because of the buzzing of getting there, SEO, and all the silly stuff. Sometimes we just have to be reminded that it’s time to wake up and see what’s really going on out there. Thank you for reading, acting on the impulse to help, and for sharing this post. I really and truly appreciate it. Thank you.

  24. December 14

    Thank you for writing what was surely an emotionally difficult piece — I too wish that day had turned out differently for you. And this is so beautifully written and powerful. So important to remember how lucky we are, and how equally important it is to help others.

  25. I commend you , Brooke, on making yourself so vulnerable by sharing this courageous piece of writing.

  26. Brooke, you are a phenomenal woman. Bless you for enlightening us and also giving us a Take Away list. I love your heart.

  27. I’m stunned with recognition, thankfulness and … admiration that I thought couldn’t rise any higher and yet has now. Your courage and talents abound, you’ve taken a moment of having so little and turned it around and given more than most would even know how to do. I felt your compassion for your neighbor-lady, even in your pain – you thought of hers, too. You couldn’t have told your story except through your “little Brooke’s” eyes – which is what will stir in all of us a desire to donate. I believe I feel a transition here, you are on your way somewhere even bigger than you’ve been and you’re taking us with you, happily!

  28. December 14

    You share with such strength, Brooke. I admire you for letting go so you may tell an important story. Beautiful on many levels, friend.

  29. Tammy
    December 14

    My dear Brooke,

    You are an amazing woman. I was uncontrollably crying to the point of almost not being able to read the words you wrote. I was so naive that I had no idea you had to endure living like no child should. When I think of you, I think of an extremely talent girl who always had a smile on her face and could have you laughing in two seconds flat. Your quirky personality was intoxicating and your courage to be your own person made you the bravest person I knew. It breaks my heart to know how you struggled and it makes me sad to not have know then. Thank you for sharing so eloquently your story behind the smile. Love you, T.

  30. December 14

    brooke – you humble me. every time i think i understand what makes you tick, you so overwhelmingly surprise me with your depth, strength, integrity, and beauty. thank you for sharing this part of your life. Love, love, LOVE you!!

  31. Carrie
    December 15

    Wow, Brooke, thank you for sharing. Even I need a reminder to withhold judgment now and then.
    I, also, grew up poor. I don’t remember hunger, but I do recall family and friends sharing their commods during particularly tough times. We often had people over for dinner towards the end of the month when funds and pantries ran low. Is it strange to say I feel lucky to have come from an impoverished community? Yes, we struggled, but at least we did so together. Somehow, we all made it through. My friends from those lean times are still my friend today, 20+ years later. I don’t mean to sugar coat it, those were hard, stressful, and even cold times, but they also contain some of my most cherished memories.
    It makes me sad that you had to go through such a rough period alone.
    I admire your courage to speak up about it.

  32. December 15


    BRAVO! You are an amazing woman with such confidence to come out and publicly tell us your story. I applaud you. If only more of us could be like you, the world would be a little better of a place. I appreciate you for sharing this and for sharing an amazing cause. I hope your post gives everyone a moment to reflect and see show they can help as it has done for me. Thank you.

    Happy Holidays!!


  33. December 15

    i had to brace myself before i read your article, because i knew the minute i started reading it, a picture of you will form in my head and never leave me for the rest of my day, if not, for a long time.

    i can’t remember how i found your post, maybe through the array of re-tweets and such. but it doesn’t matter. i finally read it and i must thank and commend you for being so very honest.

    and in return, i will share that i finally am able to work on food security as part of my job, but i wasn’t sure how i would start, even if i understand hunger from experience, you know? so thanks again for your story that is humbling but also very needed to have been told.


  34. December 15

    This was a strong, powerful, and touching post. I feel for the child you were. We actually support our local food bank every month of the year, not just in December. Our area has had to deal with three major hurricanes in the last ten years, either supporting our neighbors who were affected by hurricanes or supporting our own community which was hit.

    Please remember, hunger is every day, not just the holiday season. Please do what you can.

    Blessings to all.

  35. Gaby de Cabrera
    December 15

    Awsome writing, very brave and very true, there are thousands of women like your neighbor around the world, I surely don’t want to be one of them, the kind of poverty that these women have is the worst and contaminates the heart. I think everyone has been hungry at some point of their life like you and your bro were in your childhood, however, those moments of hunger are very decisive to be able to construct a life full of blessings and knowledge. I realize now why I thought such good things about your personality when Kokin & I met you a few days before your wedding, you certainly have a very touching heart, a very sensitive soul and a very kind being, I’m very sure that’s what Hans loves so much about you!
    You really touched our hearts too, Brookie! We miss you guys!
    Love , Gaby

  36. December 15

    You are a very courageous woman, Brooke. Thank you for sharing your story…
    It is so important that those of us who can help, do help.
    I can’t imagine turning a hungry child away from my doorstep 🙁

  37. Luky Luttmann
    December 16

    Dear Brooke,
    You are very courageous, sensitive, smart and most importantly a great girl!
    You are a role model for the thousands of hungry kids in the world, the gift of survival and you are an example of it you became a wonderful woman , a survivor and a gentle soul.
    I remember our house in Michigan was always full of our son’s friends, some didn’t have the comfort of a snack after school or a few times breakfast and I always had a place in our table for them, a good friend of them came to knock to our door one cold Winter morning without a jacket or gloves or breakfast! I am so happy to tell you that we provided everything for him, for Christmas him and his mother came to thank us for the help she told me that the first Christmas gift he bought with his money, was for me, it was a lovely spoon rest for my stove. To Give is To Live a Happy Life! My Hansito is a fortunate man and so do we to have you in our lives.

    Con Amor,


  38. Luky Luttmann
    December 16

    My comment is awaiting moderations? I don’t know

  39. December 18

    I know there are terrible fates for all sorts of people out there, but I think hunger is so demeaning and so common at the same time.
    You are kind to feel sorry for her. I feel mean. She was wrong. I don’t understand that. I understand feeling overwhelmed by the world’s needs, but not by a personal appeal for something that would be so easy to give. I feel shame that our rich society cannot feed every one of our people. And then some.

    So well written. I feel the gulp of shame in my throat.

  40. Brooke: time stopped for a moment, right after I read your story. The was a tornado of emotions and a strong call to action. Hunger does not only happen over the holidays. Hunger is not only about food… it is about love too, and sadly not only did that woman serve you food she did not serve you a needed hug. Thank you for writing this so poignantly, making it real…so many times hunger is depicted as a third world case…which it is not. I will be donating food for the holidays, via the links you provided above. Sending you extra love. and wishing you a Merry Christmas.

    • Food Woolf
      December 21

      Thank you so much for your donation, reading, and thoughtful words. And, even more, thank you for sharing my story with others. I hope more hungry kids are given access to food and support because of thoughtful and generous people like you. Happy Holidays,

  41. renee
    December 21

    Hi Brooke. I am an old friend of your husband’s from HS (he and McManus were like big bros to me — I was 2 years behind them). We connected on FB a while back and he shared your website/blog with me. I have really enjoyed reading your work, and the bonus is that I *love* food and love your photography as well. You are so incredibly talented! I just wanted to say, though, that this article made me get up, close my office door, and have a deeply cathartic (and long overdue) cry. Neglect also lived everywhere in my childhood home, and when I read this, I realized that I have always been ashamed of that too. If I needed food, I could find it, but I can promise you that nobody was cooking meals for us, and often times, it was too much work to figure it out so–we went without.

    I felt like the little girl in you — the one standing on your neighbor’s porch — was talking to the little girl in me — the one who was ashamed to have anyone over, to talk about my family, or to even be honest about how bad things really were. The good news is, I have found the equivalent of who you have in Hans — my husband of almost 13 years has loved, honored, supported, and nourished me from the moment we met. He is a constant source of nourishment and love. I have come a long way from being a “hungry kid,” but remember it all too well. I too will be make donations via the links you provided. Happy holidays, and thank you!

    • Food Woolf
      December 21

      Renee, Thank you so much for your words. They, too, stopped me cold. I’m so glad those two little girls have each other to talk to–even if it is across time and space. What a beautiful gesture. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I will carry the little girl you were with me. Just so that we’re both not alone. Hugs to you. Happy Holidays.

  42. Brett
    December 23

    I’m so impressed by your honesty and bravery (as a child and as an adult). Thank you for sharing your heart.

    p.s. I think it’s fair to call by name the neighbor who shut you out.

  43. December 25

    it is very brave of you to write this. usually all people are not the same.there are some people who can ignore a dying person,so it is not a big thing if they ignored a hungry child.there will come a time that they will have to come to your feet,and when they realize that you treat them well,it will hurt them even more,because they know what they did to you.

  44. T
    December 26

    I lost my job over two years ago and there have been many days where I honestly didn’t know where my next meal was coming from. As a blogger and a food geek, hungry and staring at the bottles of exotic balsamics and truffle oils, it provided a swift reminder about the life I once lived. And yet only the day before, I was shoplifting humble cans of tuna fish. Hunger, hidden among us, is very real–even among the foodies.

    • Food Woolf
      December 26

      It’s truer by the day what you say. With so many of us living paycheck to paycheck, we are all one sickness/crisis away from stealing cans of tuna. If you need a place to have a warm meal, you are welcome at my home.

  45. […] My friend Brooke just published a courageous piece, an essay about being a hungry kid, and the shame shame shame that went with it. Read it. We need to make this real if we’re going to feed these more than 17 million kids. […]

  46. […] you would like a heartfelt perspective on the issue, read Brooke’s (from Food Woolf blog) Hungry in America post. She highlights that American childhood hunger is tough because people who are affected […]

  47. Tejas Angel
    January 4

    Gotta take exception with this “blaming the victim” reply. Brooke was a C*H*I*L*D, the neighbor was an adult, yes, she may have had a bad day but a child asked for her help. My adopted mother was horrible and mistreated me constantly. To this day each time I see an elderly aunt in my adoptive family she says “OH, do you remember the day that you and Charles were arguing in the car and when you all got out Flo just slapped you across your face so hard you fell to the ground?” Each time I reply, “what did you do?” Her reply is always the same. “Well we thought it might make it worse if we said anything.”

    Really? REALLY? the woman was so abusive she struck me in front of witnesses so you had to have known it was already worse when you all were not around and you did NOTHING? REALLY?

    I was a child and you were the adults. Shame on the adults who do no help children.

    • January 7

      Thank you for your supportive and kind words. Greatly appreciated.

  48. April 2

    Being an only child and not having my parents around often had actually led me to feel the same about my childhood. I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. One day, someone else’s child, is going to come to your door feeling the exact same way and you will whole heartedly offer that child a sandwich filled with peanut butter and marshmellow fluff. That day will be the day that child blogs about 20 years from now.

  49. […] different take on what the bill could mean for kids, take a moment to read this moving account by Food Woolf of her memories of having to go hungry as a kid. Reading this piece will surely move you to want […]

  50. […] a missing green tea powder isn’t even on my list. I thought of broken hearts, lost children, hungry families, and homes torn apart by war. And yet, for this woman, the 86’d green tea powder really got her […]

  51. Robbi Actkinson
    October 6

    Ok, this broke my heart, a very real crisis here in our own backyard. Do easy to write a check to organization, even one that feeds other countries… But how foes this actually help the neighbors next door that I know have starving kids… ??? How will they get your service?? Too many kids here in my local town hungry for me to feed all of them everyday… Just can’t stand to drive the Volvo with the skies and so much hunger around me…

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