Question: What Do 42 Million Americans Have in Common?

Answer:  They did not have enough to eat this month.

 

Let that sink in for a minute. One of every eight people in the United States of America is food insecure.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.

So maybe not hungry enough to be starving but hungry enough to be worrying about where their next meal will come from.

Some twenty-one million children receive free or reduced-cost lunches during the school year.

For many kids, this is the only hot meal they get all day.  Weekends may mean no balanced meals between Friday noon until Monday lunchtime. School breaks and summer vacation may leave children going hungry.

Kids make up 13 million of the food insecure population.

The elderly account for another 5 million currently facing hunger in our country. After a lifetime of hard work, households with older adults facing an unthinkable choice — to buy groceries or receive medical care.

Walking through the local supermarket makes this seems incomprehensible, doesn’t it?

 

Who’s Hungry?

How many people are in your circle of acquaintances?

Think one in eight…

Did you have enough to eat this month? Did your family?  Your friends? Your neighbors?

FeedingAmerica  is the nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs that I choose to support.

Their food map shows U.S. food insecurity, state by state, county by county. To see how your community stacks up, click Map the Meal Gap. 

You may be surprised who needs help : Real Stories of Hunger in America 

 

Good news

There is actually more than enough food produced to feed those who are hungry.

The fact is, the United States generates more than 38 million TONS of food waste a year.

That’s 31% of the available food supply going uneaten!! at a cost of $161 billion dollars!!  This includes produce never harvested,  foods lost in processing, thrown away in restaurants and homes or ended up rotting in America’s landfills.

It seems inefficient distribution, not scarcity, is at the root of this problem.

So how do we divert wholesome, nutritious food to feed people, not land fills?

 

If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.

 Mother Teresa

 

Ways We Can Help

There are many organizations currently addressing the problem. Surely one of them will trip your trigger.

~~Food banks and food pantries, available in almost every city and town, desperately need fresh food for the 50 million people a year they feed.   Donate food, cash or your time.

~~This directory of Food Rescue Organizations  across the United States that rescue, glean, transport, prepare, and distribute food to the needy in their communities.  

Mostly staffed by volunteers, these programs help feed the hungry while reducing food waste. Contact the individual organization to learn their donation needs.

~~Are you a gardener?  Ample Harvest helps 42 million home and community gardeners end food waste and hunger by educating and enabling them to donate their excess garden produce to one of 8,225 nearby food pantries across America.

Because most gardeners harvest more than they can use, estimates are this food could feed 28 million people.

~~Get involved with a community garden.

25 million Americans live in a food desert . The dictionary defines food desert as an urban area in which it is difficult to buy affordable or good-quality fresh food.

Many impoverished areas, such as Detroit, are turning their vacant lots into community gardens.

~~Not a gardener yet but would like to be? Free Seed Project  will send you free garden starter kit that includes approximately  organic and heirloom seeds for 20-25 different vegetables and herbs as well as bee and butterfly habitat giving flowers. The kit provides basic information on how to start a garden and how to plant the seeds.  Start your first garden and share with your community!!

~Donate nonperishables through the Stamp Out Hunger campaign on Saturday May 12. Postal carriers will pick up your grocery filled bag from your doorstep.  Doesn’t get much easier than that!

 

Food loss in America is currently one third of our defense budget….all while 42 million of our brothers and sisters are going without.

Food scarcity is solvable. What will you do to help?

 

To full bellies for everyone!

Rose

 

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired,

signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed,

those who are cold and not clothed.

~Dwight D. Eisenhower