Saturday, July 16, 2011

Food Insecurity

I came across this statement today while reading a news article:

"According to a 2009 report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 14.7% of American households were "food insecure" at least some time during that year. "Food insecure" means all household members did not always have access to enough food for an active, healthy life."

Nearly 15%.  Sit here and think about that for a minute.  America is supposed to be the richest country in the world.  The American dream was - and still is - a driving force for immigrants who want a better life for their families.  Recent estimates by the World Health Organization classified 74% of Americans are overweight.  And yet 15% of our citizens are unable to access enough food to stay healthy??

What scares me the most about that statistic is that it is two years old - which means the info was gathered in 2008-2009, at the beginning of the recession.  Three years later, how much higher must that number be?

The article I was reading was about Holly Hirshberg.  In 2008, Holly's husband lost his job, and her family had to depend heavily on her garden to provide for their needs.  After realizing just how helpful her garden was, she started The Dinner Garden, an organization that provides free packs of seeds, enough to feed a family of four.  "If you have a willingness to garden, we can help you find a way to do it," Hirshberg said. "The seeds do all the work. You put them in the ground, they will grow. ... With just a couple minutes a day, you really can grow a lot of food for your family."  In 2001, Holly was invited to speak at TED San Antonio.

I went to check out the Dinner Garden site, and again my mind was blown to find this message:  "Please note that due to incredibly high demand, we have a waiting list of over 45,000 families while we wait for additional funding for supplies. The wait may be over a year."

That statement says a lot about America's economy, doesn't it?

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