Dieters Unite: Give your calories to those less fortunate

  • Published
  • By Capt. S. J. Brown
  • 934th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
I'm hungry. It's 11:30 a.m., as I sit at my desk writing this column. I am really famished.  You know, just the normal kind of hungry when you skip a meal or go on a diet. My hunger is self-induced because, ugh, I am on a diet (as I have been for the better part of a decade).

I grew up in a poor area of Alabama, the "backwoods" if you will. My widowed mom usually had just enough to feed our family of four, nothing fancy mind you. Nowadays, the United States Department of Agriculture calls poor families, like mine was, "food insecure" households.

Call it what you want, but the fact is, more than 11 million adults and eight million children are hungry every day. These people aren't on diets, and they aren't so busy at work that they forget to eat. These "food insecure" people don't eat because there is no money to buy anything to eat. That is real hunger.

Then there is starving. I admit that I have used the exaggerated expression "I am starving to death," but, I have never actually been starving. Millions of children are hungry every day right here in America, according to the USDA. Because there has been no real research on starvation in America, one can only assume that some people do die from malnutrition or lack of food.

Morbid as it sounds, I searched the Internet for statistical facts on how many people die in America of starvation. I found nothing. I hope I never find anything about people, especially children, dying of starvation in America. I really don't want to read about anyone dying of starvation anywhere in the world, but much less in my own back yard. It's not that I want to turn a blind eye but because I hope to eradicate hunger and starvation in the world. But how?

Here's an idea. I'm on a diet right? So, why not take the calories I cut and give them to someone who needs them? If I cut 500 calories out of my diet every day, which equates to one can of baked beans, then I can donate those calories to the Feds Feed Families program ( The FFF program gives donated food to local food banks. For your convenience, FFF coordinators have left drop boxes throughout the base so you can donate your non-perishable food to the hungry in Minnesota. If all dieters assigned to this wing donated these calories in food, we could feed an army (or Air Force).

I ask dieters as well as those who don't need to diet (I really dislike you non-dieters but that is another story altogether) to unite. Join with me in donating your unused calories, in the form of unopened packages of non-perishable food, to the FFF program or to your local food banks so that we can feed America. Clean out your cabinets and do a good deed.
Remember, while you are dieting, you might be a little hungry but you won't starve, unlike the millions of children who go without sufficient food everyday. Yes, I am still hungry and that can of baked beans sitting in that donation box looks really good right now. But those calories are bad for me and good for someone else.