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Thursday, April 22, 2021

Opinion

Food insecurity worsened by winter storm


File Photo

Last week, the state of Texas experienced devastating winter weather that caused power outages, loss of water and cancelled classes. The real tragedy that occurred during the winter storm is the worsening of the food insecurity situation that already exists in Texas. 

Food insecurity has been a very serious issue in Texas since before the pandemic started. Now that there’s severe cold weather, the problem is twice as bad. 

This is an urgent humanitarian situation in the U.S. that must not be delayed any longer, especially when coupled with the increase in electric bills.

 Houston is one of the largest cities in the U.S. If its citizens are starving, that will impact the country’s economy and welfare. 

The Fair Haven Food Pantry in the Spring Branch area of Houston is one of the prime examples of the food insecurity problem in Texas.

John Stephens, the pastor working for the pantry, has called last week “a disaster within a disaster,” mainly because the food pantry has already witnessed the highest level of food insecurity due to COVID-19. 

The food pantry also suffered from shortages of supplies to give to families whose jobs are impacted by the winter storm.

In addition, the supermarkets in Texas are “running low” on food supplies. This is disastrous because grocery stores should be the lifesavers for citizens. Therefore, the winter storm did not alleviate the situation, but made it more difficult to feed the hungry. 

Unfortunately, Texans saw how elected officials like Sen. Ted Cruz would rather leave the whole country than fix the humanitarian issues in the state.

This complete dereliction of duty should make it crystal clear to Texans that the food insecurity issue, like all other issues, will not be fixed by those in power. 

In fact, the elected politicians may believe that the people of Texas do not care about – or just forget about – these important issues.

This winter storm, combined with the pandemic, should motivate young voters in Texas to campaign for human rights reform in the politics of their state and their country. That’s because reform and progress start with holding those accountable who neglect the needs of the citizens.

This should not be a very hard task for the American people, because the U.S. is one of the major contributors to the World Food Programme (WFP), which won the Nobel Peace Prize for their heroic efforts to feed the poor.

In fact, the current executive director of WFP, David Beasley, is a former Republican governor of South Carolina.

If an American can lead the whole world in feeding the poor and the needy, then they can lead an American state in feeding the poor and the needy. Therefore, Texans should not lose hope yet in finding the leader who will finally put an end to the starvation of the citizens of Texas.

In other words, voters in the state of Texas must use that sadness and anger felt from seeing the negligence of the citizens to elect politicians who take seriously the welfare of the poor and the weak.

Texans, probably like the rest of the American people, have seen how countries around the world collapsed or became rogue nations when their citizens are starving in the streets.

Texans also saw how American presidents always made a speech to the U.N. condemning these nations or urging these leaders to contribute more to feeding their own citizens in poor nations.

They’ve seen how the leaders of those countries have a bad habit of profiting off of the deaths and malnutrition of the children in their own cities. As a result, the economy of these countries never recover and their leaders are never held accountable because they are not a democracy.

Texans must now stand up to those officials who act like leaders of a rogue nation by voting them out of office in order to live up to the American values they talk about on the world stage.

Abdullah Dowaihy is a political science senior who can be reached at [email protected]

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