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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The right acronym will make it all better…

I was recently looking through the Rotarian (the magazine of Rotary International) and spotted an article on Hunger in the United States. As I read the article it became obvious that we don’t have hunger in the United States – heaven forbid. In it’s quest for better PR the federal government has decreed that, instead of hunger, we have food insecurity. In fact the estimate in this article, based upon data from the U.S Department of Agriculture is that 14.6% of U.S. households suffer from these “disruptions in eating patterns and reduced food intake due to adverse economic conditions.” George Carlin could have made an entire routine out of this topic.

Now it seems reasonable that if you disrupt a person’s eating pattern and reduce their food intake they will end up HUNGRY. How often have you seen a TV news story featuring some little waif holding out an empty plate and saying – “I’m food insecure and suffering from reduced intake. Can you help?” Maybe I’m just not looking at the right newscasts.

We used to have a federal program to deal with this issue that was called Food Stamps; however, that sounded bad, so in 2008 the U.S. Department of Agriculture renamed the program the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP. So now, if you’re hungry some government worker can say, “Oh, SNAP.”

Carlin would have had a field day with that, too.

I suppose people are no longer classified as homeless Using that term is, after all, so insensitive. They are probably called shelter challenged. Maybe there’s a government program to provide temporary housing for the shelter challenged run by a division of the Housing and Urban Development Department called the Shelter Challenged Assistance & Relief Extension Service (SCARES).

Those without health care insurance would likely not be classified as uninsured; rather they are Medical Attention Deficient (MAD).

The unemployed could instead be called Currently Underemployed ResourceS (CURS) and the federal programs to help them could be lumped together and run by the Bureau of Underemployed Resources Programs (BURP).

Of course it’s all part of the larger government program that brings together the various government aid agencies into the Centralized Relief Alliance Program or CRAP.

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