There are only a handful of basic needs that are essential for human life; however, far too many people across the United States struggle each day to meet one of those critical needs.
In a nation that prides itself on its wealth and prosperity, food insecurity remains a pervasive issue across all communities — urban, suburban and rural — that is worsened by how easily it can cloak itself and remain unseen. It could be a friend, family member, neighbor or co-worker who is silently struggling each day with hunger.
Since 1979, Feeding America has been tackling food insecurity and hunger across the U.S. Formerly known as America’s Second Harvest, Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that feed more than 46 million people through food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other community-based agencies. The nonprofit is the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization working to connect people with food and end hunger.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as the lack of financial or other resources to provide a consistent access to food to lead an active and healthy life. The ramifications of food insecurity make it one of the leading health and nutritional concerns in the nation, contributing to chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular risks.
The issue has only been compounded over the past year by economic hardships stemming from COVID-19. After years of declining rates of food insecurity, Feeding America is projecting 1 in 8 people, 42 million in all, could experience food insecurity in 2021. That estimate includes 13 million children.
“In a country that wastes billions of pounds of food each year, it’s almost shocking that anyone in America goes hungry. Yet every day, there are millions of children and adults who do not get the meals they need to thrive,” Feeding America states on its website. “We work to get nourishing food — from farmers, manufacturers and retailers — to people in need. At the same time, we also seek to help the people we serve to build a path to a brighter, food-secure future.”
As mentioned, America prides itself on its wealth and prosperity. Yet, we take equal pride in two additional traits that define who we are as a society: empathy and compassion.
SaveOn provides our customers with ways to get the most from their finances on household groceries. This month we urge you to stretch your dollars further — perhaps even to another household. Consider using the savings available through our partner organizations to make a donation to your local food bank or even helping out with the mission of Feeding America. The Feeding America website can help you locate the food banks in your area and provide you with information on how to donate or volunteer.
With the myriad of important issues we face at this time, hunger shouldn’t be one of them. It’s time to take hunger off the table. For details on how you can help, visit feedingamerica.org.