We used to think hunger affected only people living in Third World countries. Now we know the hungry live right next door.
It is shameful that PEOPLE living in the richest agricultural state in the nation DON'T have enough to eat.
Hunger is not just their problem. It's our problem.
Hunger affects a person's quality of life, health and productivity. Take the example of children who experience hunger routinely. They suffer delayed brain development impairing the ability to learn. They have lower test scores, more behavioral problems, higher incidents of grade repetition and increased dropout rates. They become ill more often due to long-term undernourishment and poor nutrition. They grow into adulthood, are easily fatigued and develop serious medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and depression.
Who else suffers from the impact of hunger?
We all do. In 2011, a Center for American Progress/Brandeis University study estimated that hunger costs every American household over $1,400 annually. We feel this impact by bearing the burden of shared costs for increased health care. Our economy feels the impact of reduced productivity and performance.
At Foodlink, every action we take—from delivering a load of food to advocating for change—is aimed at helping to solve the hunger problem in California. We refer to it as "our problem," and invite you to join with us in taking responsibility for it. You can begin by doing two things right now: learn more about hunger and its effects and then take action to combat it.
These facts about hunger and food insecurity in California may shock you:
Number of Californians living in households without access to a consistent source of food. [Source]
Percentage of people in California who struggle to put enough food on the table [Source]
The percentage of Californians living below the poverty line ($22,113 for a family of four) [Source]