With literally millions upon millions of articles and thousands of foundations, governmental and non-governmental organizations all focused for decades on ending food insecurity in the United States, why is hunger still with us across fifty states? Why are our students arriving at school hungry? Why do parents working full time not have enough for a month’s worth of groceries? Why do food banks run out of food? We don’t mean to question our good-hearted leaders in political and academic circles, but what is the complete disconnect with those that claim to have answers and the actual implementation of solutions to ensure 100% of our residents are food secure?
It seems inconceivable that kids in our country suffer from hunger. State student surveys will tell you how many kids are experiencing hunger monthly. This is a data point every health promotion program needs to monitor with diligence because it often translates into skipping meals or eating poorly balanced meals.
Even if there is a food pantry that stands ready to help, it is not guaranteed that parents or caretakers will have the logistical capacity to pick up the groceries. Communities across New Mexico are struggling with lack of transportation. Meanwhile, businesses throw away about 40 percent of their food due to spoilage or because it didn’t look appetizing.
Teen Eric and his siblings know that by the end of every month, meals will be scarce. It’s here we need the innovative thinking of the entire food industry.
Innovations focus on logistical solutions and using tech to track both need and meeting the demand. We can look to private/public partnerships to create a system of healthy food distribution where nothing is wasted, and hunger is history.