For those of us who work directly with those affected by hunger, to hear that hunger is a national problem never comes a shock or surprise. However, for those in the nation not affected by hunger, hearing that hunger is a problem in America is unheard of. Did you know that one in seven Americans turn to the Feeding America network for food assistance? Feeding America, through its network of 200 food banks and 58,000 feeding programs, provides food assistance. 46.5 million in the U.S. go hungry, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors.
Here are the hunger myths that most of American citizens are willing to believe.
- Hunger doesn’t exist in America– Most of us are quick to believe that hunger happens in other parts of the world but never in our own backyard. However, a recent study has shown that almost 15 percent of American households are now food insecure. Being food insecure means these families could potentially run out of food, run out of money for food, or miss certain meals. Many believe that because obesity is a current problem in our nation, hunger couldn’t possibly be a problem as well. In actuality, obesity is not about the amount of food consumed, but the types of food consumed.
- Only humanitarians are concerned with malnourishment– Ending malnourishment should really be a concern of every American citizen. Malnourishment stands to threaten our economy as well as our security. Children that go hungry are more likely to drop out of school, making them less likely to find a decent job. Our military is also warning that about 27 percent of Americans that are within the age bracket to enlist are unable to due to obesity.
- Only children go hungry– While children do fall victim to hunger on a regular basis, single mothers within the workforce are more likely to deal with hunger. While their children may suffer while at home, school programs help to ensure children at least have a meal at school.
- Food that is wasted in America could feed the hungry– While this may be a useful tactic to tell your children who don’t want to eat their veggies; it is actually an inaccurate statement. While about 40 percent of the food produced is thrown away, most of that waste is unfit to consume.
- Hunger is only about food– The problem with hunger doesn’t begin with food, it begins with the current state of jobs and wages in America. Since the declaration of war on poverty by President Johnson in 1964, the amount of Americans who go hungry has never decreased.
My Brother’s Keeper’s board, staff, volunteers and donors are consistently working together to address food insecurity in the Baltimore community. To this end we offer a hot nutritious lunch Mon.-Saturday. Lunches are supplemented with weekly bag lunches donated by an area church, St. Joseph’s Monastery. Last year My Brother’s Keeper served 21,042 hot meals and provided 2500 bag lunches. In addition 520 food pantry vouchers were provided to our guests upon request.
My Brother’s Keeper is a proud participant in cooperation with the Federal Summer Food Service Program serving area school age children insuring they have meals when school is out for the summer. During 2014, we served 610 breakfasts in June and July.
My Brother’s Keeper is as strong as our support. Our programs are based on community need as well as the donations and volunteer services available. As our staff continues to work towards helping the community, outside help by way of donations and volunteers are always welcome! Become a part of something great and help make MBK where hope finds a home.
To learn more about how to help, or to find out more about our services, call MBK today at 410-644-3194.