President’s Desk

United Way of Southwest Alabama / President’s Desk

One of the things that I cannot wrap my head around involves food insecurity in America.  How can the greatest nation on the planet have so many hungry people?  The food insecurity rate for Alabama equals 17%.  Mobile County’s food insecurity rate equals 16.8%; Washington County’s rate equals 19.3%; Choctaw County’s rate equals 20.7 %; and last but certainly not least, Clarke County’s rate equals 21.1%.  That’s right, around 20% of us who live in Southwest Alabama go to bed hungry and wake up hungry.

“In times like the present, men should utter nothing for which they would not willingly be responsible through time and in eternity.” Abraham Lincoln

The first five months of 2020 represent some of the greatest challenges I have faced in a lifetime.  The pandemic brought to surface the inadequacies of our Republic – the disparity in health care; the inequality in education; and the inequity in housing. Then the death of George Floyd sparked an already restless, vulnerable population into action.

It’s May, and for those of us along the coast, we know that this means the beginning of the “H” SEASON. I can’t even say it or write it, because I cannot imagine a storm on top of the pandemic. However, it is my job to think about these things.  So, I must journey down this path and encourage others to join me.

Once every decade, the people who live in the United States of America have the opportunity to be counted. Why is this important? According to the Committee for Economic Development, the census information “determine our system of political representation, inform business development and investment, and allocate government funds to where they are most needed.”