Each year, people all across the country recognize Hunger Action Month to raise awareness about food insecurity across America and in our own communities, and why fighting hunger is a top priority.
Hunger is hard on us
Food is our most basic human need. Rich or poor, big or small, young or old, everybody’s gotta eat. And since food is our most basic need, not knowing when our next meal will be or where it will come from makes it harder to do everything else in life.
Researchers have long known that “hunger is tied directly to low blood sugar which quickly leads to fatigue and low energy levels — and all wreak havoc on [our] ability to focus.” Adding to this, low blood sugar makes us feel “irritable, shaky, or tired.” That means that missing meals makes it harder to bring our full potential to any task, whether that’s working, maintaining housing, taking care of our families, or giving back to our community. The first step for anyone trying to get back on their feet is to make sure they have enough to eat.
Since food is essential, Food Security is one of the first things we address as we are working together to make our community healthier and more resilient.
What is food security and how do we build it?
Food Security describes how much access every person in our community has to healthy food. In a food-secure community, every person is able to get to and afford as much food as they need. This means that fighting food insecurity requires us to fill the gaps that come between vulnerable people in our community and the food they need to live—whether that is transportation, income, or a lack of affordable foods. When we address these obstacles, we mend the holes in the food safety net.
At Catholic Social Services, generous supporters help us tackle these obstacles through programs like St. Francis House Food Pantry which provides emergency food resources to people in need, and Meals Teams at Clare House and Brother Francis Shelter, who make sure that guests in emergency shelter never have to worry about their next meal. At FIG (Fresh International Gardens) and Grow North Farm, resettled refugees from around the world are growing and selling fresh produce, providing more local sources for healthy vegetables in Anchorage.
We are incredibly thankful for all of our clients, supporters, and partners who are addressing food insecurity in our community. As we work together to fight hunger in Anchorage during Hunger Action Month, we make our community stronger, healthier, and more resilient. Together, we are making our city a place where every single person can thrive.