What Hunger Looks Like for Berlynn
Volunteering for much of the evening, Berlynn helped prepare and serve a community meal. After helping out her neighbors, Berlynn grabbed a tray for herself and ate dinner with some of the other guests. When we sat with her, she ended up saying shyly, “It’s actually my birthday.”
So far, Berlynn had only been to this community dining space twice, “but I’m going to start coming a lot more often,” she said.
Up until two days ago, Berlynn, 25, held a managing leadership position at a transitional living home for individuals in recovery. She only left the job because she graduated from the program, she said.
In recovery and temporarily looking for work, Berlynn is getting back on her feet and adjusting. In the meantime, she’s using the food shelf and other community resources to stay healthy and well. And yet, Berlynn is humble about her relationship with hunger. She thinks sometimes that because she often technically has a little food to eat, she doesn’t have it as bad as others. Because of this idea, sometimes Berlynn doesn’t access food resources as much as she’d like to.
“There are people who need [these resources] more than I do,” Berlynn said. “But sometimes I’ll have a tortilla and peanut butter for dinner.”
Hunger for individuals does not always look like complete food scarcity/starvation. One in 10 of our neighbors, like Berlynn, are food insecure. According to the USDA, food insecurity can be evident in many ways, including having something to eat but cutting the size of a meal or skipping a meal because there isn’t enough money for food. The definition also includes not being able to afford balanced meals, or losing weight due to not having enough food.
So many of our neighbors are just like Berlynn—they are humble about accessing the food they need to thrive. Learn more about the face of hunger here.