Monthly Archives: September 2012
Food banks across the country use the terms “hunger” and “food insecurity” pretty much interchangeably when explaining their work, but they actually have different meanings. Every year the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service issues the rates of food insecurity by state. Very low food security, as they define it, is “limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.” In other words, it describes a household situation, usually due to lack of money, whether that household is one person or ten. Until 2006, the USDA used the term “food insecurity with hunger” for this very same measure. Why did they drop the word “hunger?” Isn’t “hunger” more direct, as opposed to “food insecurity,” which sounds like a bland euphemism? Are they trying to make us think there isn’t hunger in America?
I think about inflation every time I fill my car up with gas. I even think about inflation when I drive by a gas station or see a picture of one. This obsession has nothing to do with me personally. Filling up my small hybrid is infrequent and inexpensive. What causes me to think about inflation every time I am near a gas station is the knowledge that a single penny of increase in the price of diesel has a $400 impact on the food bank’s annual budget. =$400 Roadrunner’s ability to feed hungry people drops by $400 every time the price at the pump goes up by only a penny. And, even worse, every penny means that hungry people have less money in their pockets for food and other necessities. Not only do people who are already having a tough time have to pay more at the pump, rising gasoline prices drive up the cost of almost everything else they need, including food.
Of course we are using this as a spin off from the notorious Got Milk campaign, but yes, here at Roadrunner Food Bank we have gone orange this month. Yes, we know orange isn’t a color we normally use in conjunction with our name and brand, but it does relate to hunger. How you say? Well, I’m so glad you asked. Orange marks the color of Hunger Action Month. All month long at Roadrunner Food Bank we are Speaking Out Against Hunger in September and invite you to join us. Earlier today our staff got together and participated in the simple task of taking a photo in orange shirts and sharing that photo here with you and other social sites. It is one way our staff is demonstrating that hunger is an issue important to us and one we want to fix. We are also speaking out against hunger because of recent results from the latest USDA report on food insecurity. For those of us at the Food Bank, ‘food insecure’ means hunger.