Friday, December 9, 2022


Have you ever been so poor you had to go to bed hungry?


By Chuck Woodbury
According to World Vision, more than 800 million people a night go to bed hungry. Our staff was sitting around the other day, counting our blessings for having very good lives compared to so many others. The subject of hunger came up. We admitted that we all had plenty to eat.

I noted that as a struggling freelance writer early in my career I had experienced a few times where I did, in fact, struggle to fill my stomach, at least with healthy food. But it was never a critical situation.

But others have truly suffered, and are right now.

Was there a period in your life, perhaps your childhood or as an adult, where it was a struggle to eat enough to go to bed without hunger pain? Maybe there was not enough money to go around and food was hard to come by.

We realize this is not an RV-related question, but we were curious about the readers of this newsletter: How many of them struggled at times? You, perhaps? Please leave a comment.

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Neal Davis
1 month ago

The only time I have gone to bed hungry was as an undergraduate. I had a meal plan for the school cafeteria, but it did not include the weekends. My money only went so far and some weekends were marked by a smallish amount of food. That was 45 years ago, or so, and it has never happened since then.

Steven N
1 month ago

Growing up my family grew a garden, fished, and hunted for much of our food. We went in with another family every six months went to the sale barn for a cow or pig to process. While serving in the US Navy (low pay and long hours) my wife and I used the things learned growing up to stretch a roast into two or three meals.

Steven N
1 month ago
Reply to  Steven N

You know, I completely forgot the two weeks I spent in winter survival training while stationed in Maine. They gave each training group a rabbit, some veggies, and a #10 can they had collected from the galley on base. We had to dress the rabbit that night after hiking in so it wouldn’t freeze or escape then hang it high in a tree. The next day the group voted to make a rabbit stew in the can. It was enough to give each of us a half canteen cup twice during the training. I drank a lot of water to keep the hunger pains down to a dull roar.

Jeff Craig
1 month ago

No, but mainly because I learned a long time ago how to coupon, shop at Grocery Supply stores and buying in bulk (meats, cheese, etc…) long before Sams/Costco became the norm.

John Koenig
1 month ago

While in college in the early 1970’s, a number of friends managed to get places of their own. Several of them told me that there were times when they did not have money for food. A few years later, I was able to get my first apartment. Remembering the stories of friends going hungry, I laid in some basic food staple items (cans of soup, crackers, peanut butter and the like). I figured that if money got really tight, I’d have something to eat. Fast forward ten years. I’d been through several apartments and had been able to buy a house. A few years later, I married. Checking my cupboards, my wife asked “how old is this stuff”? She found my untouched “emergency rations” I’d purchased earlier which of course had 10+year old price tags. I had a good laugh and the wife tossed out my “emergency food supply” which fortunately, never had to be used.

An emergency that you plan well for is less likely to happen.

1 month ago

I had to make a 1 pound bag of rice last a month, so many nights (and days) I went hungry.

Larry Lee
1 month ago

Well, in college in the 70’s I ate 3 large lunch meals each week on Mon, Wed & Fri. It was at the girls dorm & was all you could eat, and I could eat 3 trays full of food. Eventually other students ate lunch with me just to see how much I could eat in 60 minutes (between classes). Other days it was cereal, PB&J, etc. to get by. I managed to graduate almost debt free and not over weight.

Dale Gilbert
1 month ago

I put not often because sometimes I was stent there without any supper when I was bad

1 month ago

I said “No” but the comments jarred the memory of one night on a long motorcycle trip with friends. On a long mileage day we decided to make a push to get to our campsite before dark planning on setting up the tent and then finding a restaurant nearby for dinner. We had not realized that our campground was, literally, in the middle of nowhere. There was no manager, no town, no gas station, nothing within 40 miles (and it could have been further). Dinner was one chocolate bar split between four adults. Coffee and breakfast was that 40 miles down the road the next morning. That night will still come up in conversation occasionally…~40 years later.

BJ Wieland-Doucet
1 month ago

When I was a young Mom, I made sure my kids ate but I didn’t always have a meal.
I’ve had times when it might be just PB&J on 1 slice of bread as well.
That was many years ago now.

Jay Jeffress
1 month ago

We never went to bed hungry. We didn’t have any money and I had a full time job
and 2 part time jobs, while my wife was a stay at home mom. We didn’t eat gourmet meals, but that good wife of mine worked hard and always prepared tasty meals. When necessary, she could make a pound of ground beef last a week. The one anniversary dinner we remember is the one with sausage gravy, biscuits and scrambled eggs. By candlelight of course!

SoCal Poboy
1 month ago

Yes I have. Self imposed from hitchhiking in my teens and backpack survival trips.
Everyone should experience hunger at least once so they can appreciate the copious amounts of food we Americans have taken for granted. The original meaning of saying grace.

Deborah Mason
1 month ago

I’d have to say “No, but …” After quitting a good paying (but soul sucking) job, my next job (as I went back to school) was 3 days a week at minimum wage. On work nights I’d buy a potato for $0.10 and nuke it in the store microwave, add a pat of butter (purchased a single stick every few weeks) and some “free” salt. If my dad hadn’t been selling me my trailer with “grazing rights” I wouldn’t have made it through those 3 years of school.

1 month ago

After selling my car in Acapulco Mexico, and riding in a Mexican bus, full of local farmers and chickens, back to the US, I didn’t get much sleep or eat anything that night, on the way back to Texas.

1 month ago

When I was 19 in the late 70’s I hitchhiked around the western states, doing odd jobs and busking for nickles and dimes people would throw into my guitar case, yeah, I went without food several times. It was by my own volition I reckon…I experienced a lot and learned lessons that influence my life to this day.

1 month ago

Thankfully I was able to answer no but need to qualify. We always had food in the house but if I didn’t make it home for supper or did some other dastardly deed I was sent to bed without dining. One day my Mom was fixing my bed and at the head of the bed discovered a box that bar soap came in. Actually, Lifebuoy which was quite strong to the senses. It contained several soup crackers. She asked me about it and I said it’s when I get sent to bed without supper. She grimaced and asked “Did it not taste like soap?” I said yes but it was better than sleeping all night on an empty stomach.

RV Staff(@rvstaff)
1 month ago
Reply to  Impavid

You had a strict mom, Impavid. No wonder you turned out to be such an upstanding citizen. And the same goes for you and your kids. Good job! Have a great day. 😀 –Diane

Jim Johnson
1 month ago

No we never involuntarily went to bed hungry. Not to say there weren’t several times when our menu choices were involuntarily limited. And one time when they were voluntarily limited because we were scrimping every penny to build a downpayment on a house.

I’m sure the ability to sacrifice isn’t limited to our youth. At the same time I see too many young adults complain about not being able to get ahead when they have a top of the line phone and phone plan, several streaming subscriptions, frequently don’t prepare their own meals…

Rosalie Magistro
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Johnson

I agree. Don’t forget the top of the line sneakers..

1 month ago

Close once and that was right after retiring from the service. Came back from overseas and ended up in Arizona at the time there was no work on the east coast. Between purchasing a home, buying a car and saddled with property taxes, vehicle taxes and utility bills I found out quick that my retirement and savings didn’t go that far. So back to work feeding 4 and one on the way it was a short struggle but a quick wake up call. Now all four kids grown and gone the DW and I look at each other wondering how we would of made it today. Probably not. Have to watch today where each penny is going and for what. We are really looking a true full time with the taxes, electric, heating oil and other cost in the far northeast it’s just getting out of control. They say you can be sure of 2 things, death and taxes, well when you retire surprise both are coming quicker than you think.

Gloria Sargent
1 month ago

I did, in college. No food, no money. I worked so I had money coming in. It didn’t kill me. I now garden, so food is in my back yard. I learned to make three meals from one whole chicken – grinding up the innards to make delicious stuffing. We cook from scratch, much cheaper and so much healthier. Cook once and eat twice, half the food goes in the freezer for a later meal. But yes, it’s hard to sleep with hunger growling in your belly.

Wayne Caldwell
1 month ago

No, but I have been so broke that I couldn’t even pay attention and if river boats had been a dime a dozen, all I could do was stand on the bank yelling, “Ain’t that cheap?”.

Don H
1 month ago

Not since I was an impoverished College student. Between Beer, Cigarettes and Food, one of the three had to go!