Originally posted on https://blog.soylent.com/post/178670247497.
We’ve all been hungry. You’re probably a little hungry right now, or you could go for a light snack at least. Well, hunger isn’t the same as food insecurity. For folks that are “food insecure” physical feelings of hunger are accompanied by limited or uncertain access to enough food to support a healthy lifestyle. People who are food insecure don’t always know where they’ll get their next meal.
Food insecurity is often connected with a lack of resources — employment, income, housing, or adequate healthcare, just to name a few. These kinds of issues don’t exist in isolation and often complicate each other. For example, if you don’t have enough to eat, you turn to low-cost, low-quality foods to feel full. But those foods don’t necessarily deliver the nutrients your body needs, and you end up still feeling hungry. So you eat more low-quality food and then the cycle continues. To compound the issue further, obesity is also increasingly common among food insecure populations in the Western world. Obesity and other health issues can prevent individuals from gaining long-term employment, and with no employment, they can’t afford housing, and housing.
To put it too simply: Food insecurity is complicated.
What are the statistics?
Food insecurity is a big idea to wrap your head around. To put it in perspective, here are a few stats from some trusted non-profits who have made it their mission to bring an end to food insecurity and are leaders in their field.
- More than 41 million Americans are food insecure. That’s more people than in the entire state of California. (Feeding America)
- More than 820 million people are food insecure worldwide. If these food insecure individuals made up a country, it would be the third largest country in the world, behind China and India. (World Food Program)
- Malnutrition costs the U.S. economy more than $160 billion annually. That’s more than the total cost of Hurricane Harvey — our nation’s most costly natural disaster to date. (Bread for the World)…