Sir: I read some time ago that our federal government plans to end hunger in the United States. This is a laudable ambition, but it is doomed to failure unless it addresses the one ruling cause of all hunger in our country. I speak, of course, of a lack of education. We can never eliminate hunger until the poor are properly educated. They must be taught the truth: that the only sure cure for hunger is food. If they ate food, they would not be hungry.
My complete plan for the reform of education in the poor neighborhoods has been forwarded to the Department of Education, with a carbon copy to the Department of Health and Human Services. (By the way, your readers might find it useful to know that carbon paper is still manufactured in Mexico.) Since it is 723 pages long, I shall only summarize the salient points here.
In the first stage, the poor are to be taught how to identify food. They will learn a visual system of identification (see the accompanying illustration), as my early experiments in teaching the poor to distinguish the edible from the inedible by taste led to some unfortunate results.
In the second stage, the poor are to be taught how to eat. The use of proper silverware is to be stressed, with a strong emphasis on the long-term advantages of sterling over inferior silver plate.
In the third and final stage, the poor are to become the teachers themselves, since it is a well-known educational principle that learning is best reinforced by teaching the lesson to others. The poor are therefore to be taught how to instruct their servants to prepare nutritious and palatable meals using exclusively food ingredients.
Naturally the full proposal is somewhat more nuanced, but I hope I have made the main points clear. Ending hunger is simply a matter of providing proper education to the hungry. Seen in this light, the problem becomes manageable, and if my own small contribution has been of service to my country, I shall accept that knowledge as the highest reward a true patriot could ask.
—Sincerely, J. Collingsby Popover III, Sewickley Heights.