“Food insecurity is limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods or limited or uncertain ability to acquire acceptable foods in socially acceptable ways.” Food insecurity is a household-level economic and social condition of limited access to food, while hunger is an individual level physiological condition that may result from food insecurity.
What do hunger and food security mean in the US? “Very simply, hunger is defined as the uneasy or painful sensation caused by lack of food. When we talk about hunger in America, we refer to the ability of people to obtain sufficient food for their household. Some people may find themselves skipping meals or cutting back on the quality or quantity of food they purchase at the stores. This recurring and involuntary lack of access to food can lead to malnutrition over time.
“In some developing nations where famine is widespread, hunger manifests itself as severe and very visible clinical malnutrition. In the United States hunger manifests itself, generally, in a less severe form. This is in part because established programs – like the federal nutrition programs – help to provide a safety net for many low-income families. While starvation seldom occurs in this country, children and adults do go hungry and chronic mild undernutrition does occur when financial resources are low. The mental and physical changes that accompany inadequate food intakes can have harmful effects on learning, development, productivity, physical and psychological health, and family life.
What You Can Do About Food Insecurity
- Buy an extra can or box of a nonperishable Kosher or vegetarian food and put in the “Yes We Can” donation cans at BSC
- Participate in BSC Sisterhood donations to the Samuel Shuster Kosher Mitzvah Food Pantry.
- Volunteer to help with Cook for a Friend
- Volunteer to help in the Mitzvah Food Pantry
- Volunteer to help deliver meals to homebound adults.
- Sign up to receive emails from the American Jewish World Service, www.ajws.org and consider signing the Jewish Petition for a Just Farm Bill.
- Sign up to receive emails from the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, www.jewishpublicaffairs.org and consider supporting the National Food Stamp Challenge.
- Educate your elected representative on the importance to our children, families, communities, and nation for everyone to have Food Security.
- Support legislation that promotes food security for all.
- Get your friends and neighbors involved in fighting food insecurity!