We all know what it’s like to feel hungry after skipping a meal. But how can you measure hunger? Hunger is a feeling that can be different for everyone, but food insecurity actually measures the conditions that can lead to hunger.
Food insecurity describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life. In the United States currently, 1 in 9 people struggle with hunger.
What causes food insecurity?
Hearing our guests tell their stories it’s clear that just one bad month can plunge a household into food insecurity. Lay-offs at work, unexpected car maintenance or an accident on the job can suddenly force a family to choose between buying food and paying bills. Working families across the our valley face countless situations that can result in food insecurity and hunger.
That’s why we are here, we do not want a person to have to choose between rent and food, medical care and food, food should not be what you push aside to make ends meet. many working families, including thousands of households who don’t qualify for federal nutrition assistance.
What are the effects of food insecurity?
Food insecurity can have a wide impact, depending on each individual’s circumstances. Some of the effects of food insecurity include:
- serious health complications, especially when people facing hunger are forced to choose between spending money on food and medicine or medical care
- damage to a child’s ability to learn and grow
- difficult decisions for seniors — often living on fixed incomes — such as choosing between paying for food and critical healthcare.
How can we end food insecurity?
Part of what makes food insecurity so difficult to solve is that the underlying causes — poverty, unemployment/under-employment and inconsistent access to enough healthy food — are often deeply interconnected. Moving in and out of food insecurity simply adds more stress to a household that may already be wrestling with instability and unpredictability. We cannot correct all that, but we can make good food accessible to our neighbors.