A recent report released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture showed a rise in hunger rates. In an economic period such as the one we are currently in, I’m trying to figure out why this is news. Of the population in this country, 17.4 million households were found to be “food insecure.” In poor people language: hungry. Why should black people care? Because of the 17.4 million hungry households in this country, a significant number of them were headed by single-parent black mothers.

Historically, black women have struggled to be provide for their families, but we did. Black mothers have taken second jobs, bartered goods and hustled to ensure their children did not go to sleep hungry. We have all heard the stories of women working full-time and come home to change clothes before heading out to a second part-time job. They did what needed to be done.

What’s happened between the days when working an extra job and being able to support you and your family and now? It would be too easy to point out the absence of fathers in the home. That’s a gimme argument. What that argument misses is the fact that in every cultures, there are fathers missing. We don’t hear about a rise in poverty in single-parent households headed by white women though. There are just as many missing white men as black men. No, it is bigger than that.

Black women used to help empower each other. If one did not have something, the other would help her to obtain it. I can give you countless examples of sacrifices made by one women to help another. Why? Because she was her sister and she wanted to see her make it. This doesn’t happen anymore. Sisters are too busy tearing each other down to help out another along the way. Turn to any urban gossip blog and read the comments about black celebrities if you need proof.

Imagine how much more sisters could do if they helped each out along the way. Black women are strong and smart women. There is no reason that we cannot help one another.