Hunger Action Week: The Face of Hunger
This post written by guest, Nora Peters of United Way of King County
When you think about hunger, what comes to mind? Probably an image of poor, malnourished children somewhere in the developing world, right? I’m guessing your mind doesn’t immediately go to a working, middle class family of four in Seattle, relying on food stamps and food banks, who are trying to decide between buying fresh produce and paying their heating bill.
While world hunger is a very real problem that we all must consider, hunger – or rather, food insecurity – is certainly also a growing problem right here at home that we need to think earnestly about, especially within the context of equitable access to nutritious food.
Consider this shocking national statistic: one out of every six adults and nearly one out of four children struggle with hunger. Here in Washington State, record numbers of people— 953,000 of our neighbors, co-workers and friends—don’t have enough to eat. People have to choose between paying rent and buying groceries, and children are going to bed hungry.
United Way of King County is shining a bright light on hunger and we’re asking everyone to think about their relationship to food. Who has food, who doesn’t, where does your food come from… We’re encouraging people to sign up on our website (www.uwkc.org/hunger) to stand with us during Hunger Action Week on March 19-24. When you do you’ll learn about ways you can get involved locally and you’ll be part of a movement that is helping to assure that everyone in our community is able to put nourishing food on the table.
Making the good food life for all
As members or fans of Full Circle, it’s clear that you are already concerned citizens that care about having access to healthy, nutritious food and supporting regional growers. You are part of a “growing community of concerned farmers, producers, and eaters that want to change our broken food system” and support Full Circle’s mission of contributing to the community through hard work and creating the “good food life for all”.
It is a noble mission and a necessary one – not everyone is lucky enough to have the resources many of us have to access healthy, affordable fruits and vegetables and those who are have the power to help neighbors in need. Full Circle is doing their part by supplementing processed foods at food banks with fresh produce that people deserve. Full Circle also sells their produce at farmers’ markets that accept EBT (food stamp) cards, both encouraging healthy eating and support of local farmers and vendors.
When you sign up to participate in Hunger Action Week it only commits you to receiving a few emails from us that week; however, there are lots of opportunities to get more involved in ending hunger and we welcome you to join us. You can take the Hunger Challenge, an exercise in empathy where challenge takers try to spend only $7 a day for1-5 days on all their meals (seven dollars is akin to the maximum daily food stamp allowance for a single person).
If that’s not your cup of tea, you can simply join the conversation by hosting a dinner party with family and friends! Invite folks over for a meal, encourage use of simple, low-cost, fresh ingredients, and have a conversation about hunger and how it fits into the dialogue around food and sustainable food systems. We’ve even created a toolkit with conversation starters to get the ball rolling. If you want to get your hands dirty, we have lots of great volunteer opportunities from food bank sorting to urban farm work parties, where you can learn first-hand about the importance of our local emergency food system.
You can also spread the word by using the share buttons below and let your friends know that you care about hunger in your community. Whatever way you choose to get involved, we are happy to have you stand beside us as we shine a light on hunger. Thank you for your support.
Join the conversation at United Way King County.