hunger needs to end

[think kit. day eight] MY BED // CHICAGO — People should not go hungry. There’s plenty of food in this world, but more than 800 million people struggle with hunger each day.

Meanwhile, 40% of food in the U.S. goes to waste, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization. Globally, a third of food produced for human consumption is wasted each year. The amount of food waste generated annually by wealthy countries is nearly the same amount of food produced in all of sub-Saharan Africa.

It’s ridiculous. It’s embarrassing how one family throws out thousands of dollars in food each year while the neighbors can’t afford to feed their kids breakfast. It’s absurd how much food restaurants serve, only to have diners leave half of it on the table before walking outside, past a homeless person who is starving.

It’s harder than you may think to get food. Much of the imperfect produce or “expired” food from grocery stores is donated to food banks or charities for distribution. Of course, hungry people still have to get it. The line at the church a block from my apartment always stretches around the corner. When I volunteered at the food bank in Indianapolis, people stood outside for hours sometimes, just to get limited supplies.

I remember this one guy who would ride his bicycle 20 miles each way to the food bank, no matter the weather. He could only take as much food as he could carry back to his family in his backpack. It was better than nothing, but never enough.

I can keep ranting. I won’t. Instead, I’ll encourage you to help solve this problem.

That’s the thing most people don’t realize: Hunger is our world’s most solvable problem. You should be part of the solution.

some of many hunger-fighting resources

Feeding America

No Kid Hungry

World Food Program

Food and Agriculture Organization

Food Corps

facts about u.s. hunger from feeding america

  • the U.S. Department of Agriculture defines food insecurity as lack of access, at times, to enough food for all household members
  • 49.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households in 2013 [Feeding America]
  • households with children reported food insecurity at a higher rate than those without children: 20% compared to 12%.
  • households with higher rates of food insecurity than the national average (14.6%) included households with children (20%), especially households with children headed by single women (34%) or single men (23%), Black non-Hispanic households (26%) and Hispanic households (24%).
  • every county in the U.S. has food insecure households, from a low of 4% in Slope County, N.D. to a high of 33% in Humphreys County, Miss.

So. There’s that.

[think kit. dec. 8 prompt.] Get on your soapbox. What issue, idea, or stance were you vocal about this year? Or did you let it internally build up? Was there an event, person, or time that triggered your strong reaction? Or was it a slow-burn? Why do you feel so strongly – is it personal? Emotional? Strictly reasonable?

Show us some passion – make your argument from the mountaintop!]

{main image from Zero Hunger Challenge}

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