DES MOINES, Iowa – Growing numbers of Americans were hungry this Thanksgiving, and the nation should do more to help them enjoy its bounty, the Democrats said Saturday in their weekly radio address.
"Unfortunately, the blessing of abundant food is not shared by all Americans," Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack said. "A recent report from our Department of Agriculture documented an increase in hunger in America, particularly among our children."
Vilsack, chairman of the Democratic Governors Association, said sharing is an American value rooted in the country's origins when American Indians helped the Pilgrims four centuries ago.
"On that day, sharing became an American value," Vilsack said. "Living up to that value requires us to do what we can, and what we must, to stop hunger in America."
Vilsack also asked that America's military, past and present, be remembered during the holiday season.
"As we think about all of our blessings, we should always stop and say thank you to all those who have served to make America strong and secure," he said. "Our prayers should include those who have lost their lives, the families left behind, and those who have been injured and the difficult times that lie ahead for them.
"With these thoughts and prayers, we should rededicate ourselves to ensuring that all who've served our country receive the health and income benefits they have earned by their service."
Vilsack, a two-term governor, has become more prominent within the Democratic Party in recent years. His name was mentioned as a running mate for the Democrats' 2004 presidential candidate, John Kerry, and as a candidate to head the Democratic National Committee. He said he wasn't interested in that job because of his responsibilities as governor.