Feeding Everyone: Eradicating Hunger in the US

Hunger affects more than 30% of the US population. So what can we do about it?

An article in the UK Independent last year published some startling statistics about hunger in the US: our current “food insecure” rate, that is, people who cannot guarantee their next meal, is the highest it’s been since the 70s.1

In the wake of the processed and chemical food revolution since that time, people who subsist on three to four dollars a day rely on cheap packaged or fast food to survive and the result has been literally deadly. Our country’s obesity rates have spiked to unprecedented proportions and the group that is most vulnerable is children.

It’s not enough to do canned food drives where those with more huck their expired pantry goods in a bin. We have to make the right kinds of foods – fresh, whole nutritious foods – available to the masses.

If you imagine for a moment as you sit here in front of your device, probably drinking a cold beverage in the comfort of your home that your child is going without a single meal, you are probably already feeling anxious. Now magnify that by 13.1 million times. That’s how many kids in our nation don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Or if it’s coming at all. That means it’s very likely that there is a family only blocks from your house that is out on the street, taking refuge in a shelter or relying on the tricklings from food stamps to keep from starving.

 

So what can we do to help feed people? Here are some ideas.

We can all help both farmers and those living below the poverty line by pushing our local government to enable farmers markets to accept EBT cards. It can happen through small government subsidies that help farmers accept EBT as a form of payment.

We can volunteer to teach cooking classes at local shelters and rehabilitation centers. These places which support underserved communities need all the help they can get. You can empower those in need to make healthy food with simple ingredients.

Help at the food bank. Food banks these days are far more efficient at supplying the food, but it can be difficult to help those who need it most so that they can access it. Food banks often have strategies for reaching homeless families and getting them that next meal.

Many relief agencies like Oxfam America, the U.N. World Food Program, and CARE, accept online donations. Some allow you to give to specific projects or efforts, maybe in in your community.

Vote for school meals. Recent legislation threatens programs that guarantee kids a free breakfast and lunch if their parents qualify as low-income. It’s critical that we as parents fight for this basic right on behalf of kids– anything else is inhumane.

If you can’t afford to make donations yourself, you can still rally support on behalf of hunger. With just a few clicks, you can share sites like freerice.com, where visitors can play simple vocabulary games and WFP will donate 20 grains of rice for every correct answer. thehungersite.com requires just a click of a button.

For the well-fed, it can be easy to forget that there are so many people, out there hurting for a sandwich, but we cannot be complacent. We have to decide as a people that we are going to take care of each other, and the simplest way to do that is to make sure no one goes hungry.

 

 

References:

  1. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/hunger-in-the-us-affects-highest-number-of-people-since-the-1970s-a6823696.html

 

About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

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