The storm clouds are rolling in. Sixty-one degrees and windy. Christmas shopping is in full Elf-Assisted mode…with Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus working nonstop in the Toy Factory with Howard the Super-Foreman. Howard says that there are more poor children than ever before as well as more who are food insecure…or as we old folks commonly term it…hungry. Santa is determined to do something about the hungry kids. Suggestions have been numerous and varied…from gift cards to Panerras or Cheese Baskets from Harry and Davids…to Food Vouchers from the North Pole that can be cashed in at any participating restaurant in the North Pole Food Voucher Program. Howard told Santa that already schools are the primary food providers for many children in America. The School Food Programs began with hot lunches in the days of Billy B. and Chet and Jane. Now the schools provide breakfast as well and many of them have their students stay for a light supper that is provided. It was discovered several years ago that during the weekends and the holidays and the summer break…kids went hungry or were at least…food insecure. The combination of reasons for this terrible sin was many, such as single moms without jobs or with two or three jobs in the endeavor to put food on the table. Dads and moms who were captive to addiction were another more prevalent reason for the suffering of their children. Of course, the lack of sufficient jobs or economic opportunities was a strong contender for the hunger of kids in the midst of their families. Howard the Super Toy Factory Foreman went on to inform Santa that many of these hungry kids had uncles and aunts and other family members that turned a blind eye to their sunken eyes and listless demeanor due to their selfishness.
‘This year…2022…we will deliver food along with the toys to every little girl and little boy,’ Santa said. Mrs. Claus hired a nutritionist to advise her on what were the most nutritional foods that could be delivered to each child with their rocking horses and toy trucks. ‘Santa’s Food For Kids will be distributed each month by hundreds of thousands of his helpers across the world. ‘It will be similar to the Commodity Program that Billy B. remembered so well when he was a kid in the early ’60s,’ Santa proclaimed! ‘The only difference is that Santa’s Food will be distributed with love and not with disdain for the poor and the hungry,’ Howard added.
‘Twenty-twenty-two will be the beginning of the end of hunger on earth,’ Santa laughed so hard that his belly shook like a bowl full of jelly. ‘I have been talking to precious children all year who climb upon my lap and when I ask them what they want for Christmas…they tell me some hot dogs or a hot bowl of Malt-O-Meal,’ Santa noted with a tear coursing down his cheek.
Howard smiled a satisfied smile. He had seen the hungry kids firsthand. They liked toys…but toys did not feed their hungry stomachs. Many of them were waiting up for Santa on Christmas Eve and when they caught a glimpse of Howard…as almost no one ever catches Santa…they would ask for a cookie or a piece of pumpkin bread. Howard had inspected the refrigerators of the hungry kids and found beer and mold and fermented eggs. He understood that things could not continue like they were.
‘How do kids go hungry in the richest country in the world,’ Santa asked?