Recently, I spent some time in North Central Missouri in the community of Edina. A rural community in Knox County that bears a striking resemblance to the area I grew up in Southeast Kansas.

A community group had come together to implement the Bright Futures Framework. Edina is a great example of another wonderful community full of compassionate people who desperately want to meet the growing needs of the children in their community. They are beginning to address physical needs and creating opportunities that do not currently exist for their children.

During the training, the group was asked to reflect on their perception of the most pressing needs of the children in Edina. It was no surprise. Childhood hunger was once again at the top of the list. It never fails.

Each time I walk away from one of these meetings, I am blessed with a new nugget of wisdom that needs to be shared. Edina was no different.

As we talked about childhood hunger and the impact it has on children’s learning, a local minister offered this thought to the group…

“An empty stomach has no ears.”

It was quiet as all heads nodded in agreement. Everyone knew exactly what he meant.

When a child is hungry, how can we expect them to learn, grow, and achieve?

I do not discuss politics on this blog, nor do I ever intend to. Consequently, I may never have the readership of the more controversial blogs in cyberspace. Political finger-pointing does not accomplish much in my view.

Frankly, the fact that we have starving kids in the wealthiest country in the world is not a political issue anyway. It is an ethical and moral one. The responsibility to feed the hungry falls to you and me.

Today, children in your community have empty stomachs. It is within your power to do something and help feed them. Do you know where they are? Are you truly willing to sacrifice of yourself and help them?

As a nation, we have lofty aspirations. There is even talk of putting a man on MARS in the 2030s. I am pretty amazed at the things that we are capable of when we work together toward a goal. It is incredible that we have the ability to follow through on such dreams. I sincerely hope I live long enough to see it, but not before we figure out how to feed the hungry and fill the stomachs of our nation’s children. That is the sort of ‘lofty aspiration’ I am most interested in. Aren’t you?