It may be difficult to believe, but in the United States today, 1 in 9 people struggle with hunger. Food insecurity is one way we measure and assess the risk of hunger. Many households in our area are struggling to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life.
What causes food insecurity?
It is not uncommon for one bad month to be enough to plunge a household into food insecurity. Feeding America notes that “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 Pioneer valley face countless situations that can result in food insecurity and hunger each day.
Manna is here so that our neighbors do not have to choose between rent, medical care, and food. Food should not be pushed aside to make ends meet. We know that many working families, including thousands of households who don’t qualify for federal nutrition assistance, depend on extra support to make ends meet during difficult times.
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. While we cannot correct all the root factors, we can make good and healthy food accessible to our hungry neighbors in a welcoming community.