Today, April 8, 2013, food bloggers from around the United States are coming together to bring attention to the crisis of hunger in America.
In a land of plenty, way too many (millions) of Americans do not know where their next meal is coming from. This must change.
I have been involved in efforts to address hunger from a charitable standpoint for years. For many years, I worked as a community social worker where one of my responsibilities was to help coordinate, pick up, and distribute food donations to members of our community during the winter holiday season. For the past year or so, I have been part of a network of volunteers who collect unused, but still edible, food from local restaurants and grocery stores to be distributed through our local food pantry.
I know firsthand how local generosity can help offset hunger to some degree. Local charity, however, is not enough to address the great need and the causes of it that confront our hungry neighbors. Effective government action is necessary.
The case for why change is needed is made beautifully in the new film, A Place at the Table. I watched it with tears in my eyes and outrage in my heart. I strongly urge you to take the time to watch it either through iTunes or Amazon or at a local viewing. It is powerful.
- 30% of Americans are food insecure. (They do not know where their next meal is coming from.)
- The relative cost of fresh fruits and vegetables has risen 40% in the last 10 years, while the relative cost of processed foods has dropped 40% in the same time period. Is it any wonder that hunger and obesity are such close cousins? If empty processed calories are so much more affordable and accessible than nutritious, whole food calories, how could it not be so?
- 85% of households living with food insecurity have at least one working adult.
- Farm subsidies overwhelmingly go toward processed-food crops, instead of toward fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. (Because, in part, most of the subsidy goes to giant agribusiness instead of to smaller farmers.)
We can contact our legislators and demand that food policy actually go toward feeding hungry Americans. Follow this link to take 30 seconds to have your voice heard.
For some lower-cost entree ideas, many of which use food pantry staples (rice, beans, canned tomatoes), try these:
My new book Super Seeds, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes.