I'm in the process of building pinterest boards on a variety of different social issues, and one in particular is "hunger".
This is what you see when you search "hunger" on pinterest:
I love the Hunger Games as much as the next person, but it saddened me a bit that discussion about a novel is so much more popular than discussion about something as significant as hunger, which affects about 1 out of every 7 people on the planet. Even if the Hunger Games does explore themes of poverty, hunger, and exploitation among other things, it's important to remember that these are issues that happen in every day life, not just in a book.
The pictures of heart wrenchingly small children depict this truth, but associating these images, and these images alone, with hunger is just as dangerous. Hunger is everywhere, and not all hungry people look hungry.
In fact, obesity is often linked to poverty.
Not only is hunger prevalent in the United States, it's prevalent right in my backyard. I am from Massachusetts, and according to an awesome organization called Project Bread, here are some quick facts on hunger in my state:
- 16.5% of children in Massachusetts are food insecure.
- According to Share Our Strength, there is an average 17.5% increase in standardized math scores from students who consistently start their day with a healthy meal.
- In 2011, 46% of fast-food workers in Massachusetts relied on $173 million in aid (SNAP, Medicaid and EITC) to meet basic expenses every month.
- As of October 2013, there were 501,212 MA households participating in SNAP. This number continues to grow.
Some easy ways to reduce hunger where you're at? Donate cans of food to your local food bank, or volunteer in a soup kitchen. You can also work towards worldwide hunger relief by playing freerice.
So remember - hunger is everywhere, and hunger doesn't always look hungry. How many people go without food in your state or country?