Twenty-one percent of fresh water is used to grow food that is never eaten.
Holiday spending should also be considered in the context of some startling economic facts:
-- Fifty-seven percent of Americans do not have the financial resources to cover a $500 unexpected expense; and
-- Forty-five million people in the United States live below the federal poverty line ($11,892 for individuals and $23,836 for a family of four). An additional 97 million people live in households earning less than $47,700 for a family of four. When these numbers are combined, 48 percent of the nation's population is classified as poor or low-income.
With these statistics in mind, consider the following two approaches as we gather around the Thanksgiving table to kick off the winter holiday season.
Carve out some time to spark a conversation around these questions:
What is our responsibility to help others in need among us?
Can we donate more money or volunteer more time in the coming year?
Which causes are most meaningful to us as a multigenerational family?
-- How can we serve as models of giving -- for our children and grandchildren, or for our parents and grandparents?