As millions of Americans struggle to put food on the table every day, vast amounts of food are thrown out on a daily basis. In fact, it’s estimated that 30-40% of our entire food supply gets wasted.
Hunger knows no boundaries — it touches every community in Westchester County, including our military families. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, 50 million people may face hunger in the U.S. during 2020, and our military families are no exception.
Chronic hunger is an issue that impacts people from many different walks of life. Food insecurity, which is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life, affects an estimated one in nine Americans. This translates to more than 37 million hungry Americans — including millions of school-age children and college students.
People who are having a hard time putting food on the table have long depended on food pantries for assistance. In recent years, mobile pantries have been revolutionizing the way that hunger-relief agencies are able to help food-insecure people—enabling them to quickly bring healthy food directly to the communities that need it the most.
Traditional food pantries have long been relied upon to serve communities, but in recent years, hunger-relief agencies have begun focusing their efforts on a more progressive food assistance tool: pantries on wheels. A mobile food pantry offers numerous benefits that a traditional food pantry does not. This modern means of getting food to the people who need it most has been gaining popularity and attracting the attention of nonprofit agencies and donors nationwide.
Millions of Americans live in households that struggle against hunger, and food insecurity has no boundaries. Hunger impacts society’s most vulnerable members across the country, including children. As parents are forced to choose between feeding their children three meals a day and paying essential bills, such as rent and electricity, chronic hunger can have serious effects on a child’s health and development.
Food is a basic need that millions of Americans struggle to afford. Oftentimes, people face hardships that could strike any of us, such as a family health emergency or an involuntary cutback in work hours, and could benefit from receiving some support to make ends meet.
In any area that’s known for its strong sense of community, there are local residents who get involved in making it a great place to live because they care about their town. Research shows that giving back to your community not only improves the lives of others and makes that area a better place to live, but it also enhances your mood. In fact, altruism is connected to positive physical and psychological effects that include increased feelings of happiness, increased self-esteem, lower blood pressure, reduced incidence of depression and lower stress levels.
In every corner of America today, families are experiencing food insecurity. Defined as the inability to consistently afford enough food for a healthy life, food insecurity affects more than 37 million people. The struggle against hunger affects people in rural areas more predominantly, and the food insecurity rate is also significantly higher in households with children — with nearly 14 percent of families with children facing hunger, versus households without children at about 10 percent. Let’s take a look at four major causes of food insecurity.