There are an astounding number of people who go hungry in the U.S., despite the imagery we see on TV and the hollow lies of our government. There is a stigma attached to hunger. People do not go around talking about it. To do so prompts immediate judgment from the middle class regarding laziness, stupidity, and other classist stereotypes. Because of this, you may work with single parents who are going hungry so they can feed their kids and never know it. Minimum wage does not cover rent plus childcare costs, much less food demands.
in today's NY Times, Paul Krugman calls it what it is, a depression. not a recession, not a "double dip recession" (my favorite euphamism) but a depression, and reminds us how dire those are.
Depression and Democracy, by Paul Krugman
When I was pregnant, people said things like, "Oh, you are going to love being a mom." "Wait until you see your baby--instant love." "Once you hold your baby, the things that you once thought were important will no longer be important." All of these women, members of that secret club of mothers, would smile knowingly, and, I, wanting to be a part of their society, would nod along with them, so certain my impending bliss.
Marrit Ingman's memoir on postpartum depression, Inconsolable: How I Threw My Mental Health Out with the Diapers, is on the shelves now. The book is smart, funny, and groundbreaking. She writes honestly about her struggle to effectively parent her high-needs child when all she wanted to do was drive off a highway overpass.