50 million Americans are hungry. 50 million. At times, it’s almost impossible to grasp that each and every one of those 50 million has a name, a face, and a story. If we’re going to end hunger, our first step is to show the world what hunger looks like. These are not statistics. These are people.
We can’t solve this problem until we shine a light on the many faces of hunger, and there is no better time to do this than during the summer. The summer months are especially difficult for food banks because 17 million hungry American children are out of school and without access to free school lunches. Everyone talks about hunger during the holiday season, but those affected by hunger need just as much help now.
This summer, Move For Hunger is offering a new look at the problem of food insecurity by launching the Visualize Hunger awareness campaign. For the next few months, we’re interviewing as many people as possible, including food bank managers, volunteers, our own staff, and those who suffer from hunger themselves. If hunger touches your life, we want you to tell your story. For a moment, let’s look past the statistic “50 million” and take a look at real individual people. Let’s visualize hunger.
By Rachel Hamm
Hunger affects nearly one billion people worldwide. With so many hungry and the population ever increasing, it’s difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel; especially when the global population is predicted to hit over 9.6 billion by 2050. What could we possibly do to relieve this increasingly serious situation of hunger? Well, here at Move For Hunger, we’re always ready to look on the bright side and thus have complied some articles that offer ‘futuristic food’ solutions. You may be thinking of freeze dried astronaut food, but I assure you these are totally different. Now some of these are pretty far out, and may be a little alternative for traditional food eaters, but read on to find out some seriously interesting new approaches to battling hunger worldwide!
1. Algae Attack! This article revolves around the invention of an algae suit that creates food as you go about your daily life. A number of tubes (in front of your mouth) harness the CO2 you breathe, and along with sunlight exposure, by going outside or sitting by a window, creates more algae that is both filling and nutritious. Pretty cool, huh? Algae as a food source is nothing new, but this algae suit is definitely an alternative to usual attire!
2. Soylent Shake! Some of you may have already heard about the food replacement ‘smoothies’ called Soylent. It is packed with essential nutrients that make it possible to drink these smoothies as much as you would eat traditional meals. The creator himself says that he prefers to drink these than eat solid foods! Soylent recently underwent some renovations with the help of nutrition and scientific teams and is now considered much more filling and much tastier than before.
3. Don’t Bug Me! Who would have thought insects would finally be useful instead of icky?! This article explains the process of using an incubator to grow black soldier fly eggs and harvest the larvae for food. This alternative form of nutrition is definitely not for the faint of heart or weak-stomached. But apparently, 1 KG of feed could produce 9 KG of insect meat – the highest yield of any meat from 1 KG of feed. The designer says the larvae meat is yummy too!
4. Test Tube Burger! What American doesn’t love a nice burger? Well, what about one grow in a test tube? Some of you may have heard about this invention already. It was going to revolutionize the way people ate, as they could add more protein to their diets without increasing livestock. The downside is that hamburger meat grown from stem cells is the high cost of production, over $300,000. However, scientists are hopeful that costs will decrease in years to come.
These alternative food options are definitely a far cry from traditional nutrition but that does not mean they should be knocked! In the battle against hunger, all options should be explored! Some are more appealing than others, but none pose a true potential to eradicate global hunger, mainly because of the resources required to purchase these inventions.
However, as some of the articles suggested, it is not for lack of food that there are so many people hungry worldwide. It is due to lack of resources, poor use of land, natural disasters and other reasons. There is enough food grown globally to feed all of Earth’s hungry people, but we must utilize it properly. At Move For Hunger, we believe that nobody should have to go hungry and it is our mission to help all of those we can!
Move For Hunger interviewed a dedicated volunteer of the Food Bank of Delaware, Mary McGowan, who has been volunteering since 2010. After the death of her sister who passed away from colon cancer, Mary decided to volunteer with the food bank to give back to her local community.
Move For Hunger has donated over 400,000 lbs of food to the Food Bank of Delaware with the help of our generous donors and moving partners.
The Food Bank of Delaware is located in Newark and Milford, Delaware and serves over 240,000 residents each year.
Q: How did you become involved in volunteering for the food bank? Can you describe some tasks you do at the food bank?
A: I became a volunteer at the food bank in March 2010. My sister died from colon cancer in December 2008.I resigned my position to help care for her. After her death, I managed her estate. I needed to get back out into society and found I was in a bit of a depression so I saw an article in our local newspaper of different volunteer opportunities. The Food Bank of Delaware was one of the many organizations looking for volunteers. I called the food bank and spoke to a volunteer coordinator and the various tasks sounded appealing to me.
The various tasks include phoning senior citizens to remind them to pick up their supplemental meal boxes that are given each month, sorting foods and checking expiration dates, packing milk and snacks for various locations throughout the state which participate in children feeding programs, stocking shelves. This is a program where various organizations join the food bank and purchase various food products which they use to feed those in need and pack school lunches. The food bank works with a local school to provide breakfast and snacks for students in need. We pack weekend meals for children who take the bags home and this program is called the Backpack program.
Q: What is your favorite part about volunteering at the food bank?
A: The sense of accomplishment that my time is used wisely as a volunteer. The food bank does not have to provide me with a salary, and this in return gives more money to support their programs. I find working with handicap adults has taught me to be more patient and I find it rewarding because they are eager to do well and to please.
Q: Do you believe people know about hunger’s existence, and if not, how can they advocate for hunger relief?
A: I really do not believe that enough people know of the grave situation so many people are facing with hunger. More community involvement. I do believe not enough people are aware that Delaware has a food bank. Perhaps public awareness with volunteers at malls on weekends and grocery stores since so many stores and large employers in Delaware are already involved. Also, mass mailings with funding through government to pay for postage and more schools need to have food drives.
Q: What advice would you give to somebody interested in getting involved with volunteering at the food bank and taking action against hunger?
A: Personal advice would be to go in with an open mind. There are various jobs that need to be done and some of them may involve scrubbing coolers used to transport milk to various sites. This job can be unpleasant but it needs to be done. While other duties may include lifting heavy boxes, there is always someone there willing to help. Also, always remember someone will benefit from your good work
Q: What do you think about Move For Hunger’s efforts which are giving back to America’s food banks?
A: I believe the Move for Hunger Program is an excellent idea and I do know it is working because I’ve seen several boxes of donated food coming into the food bank. By providing someone with a box, it provides a place to put food without worrying where will it be stored. Move for Hunger is making a difference, and the people who came up with this wonderful idea can see the benefits through the volume of boxes that are distributed to the food banks. I do hope this program continues. One of your moving partners in Delaware is Bayshore Moving and Storage. the ironic part of this is my sister who I lost to colon cancer was a customer service and claims representative for them, and she was employed with them even during treatment and during remission.
Kids should focus on their school work, not on where their next meal will come from. September is Hunger Action Month which means a great time to start your own food drive or donate to support Move For Hunger’s relief programs! Help over 17 American children get a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner today!
Poverty is one of the main causes of hunger in the United States. Many individuals and families have to make a trade-off between buying food and paying for other expenses such as health insurance, utilities bills, medical expenses and others. Poverty affects access to nutritious meals and restricts resources to finding these nutritious meals.
Natural disasters such as floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes, exploitation of the environment, and war are additional causes of hunger.
Take action today: donate to Move For Hunger or contact us about holding a food drive in your local community at firstname.lastname@example.org or 732-774-0521.
What does hunger in America look like? Here’s one way to visualize it. If all hungry American adults held hands and stood side-by-side, they would stretch approximately 34,639 miles. Think about that: 34,639 miles. That’s long enough to stretch coast-to-coast 11 times. This disturbing figure does not even include 17 million hungry children.
Take action today: donate to Move For Hunger or contact us about holding a food drive!
Summer is the most difficult time for 17 million hungry American children. Don’t wait; they need your help today!
Here are five great reasons to hold a food drive this Summer. Ready to get started? Give us a call at 732-774-0521!
Make a video. Write a letter. Perform an interpretive dance. Whatever it takes, Speak Out Against Hunger!