What is hunger?
Hunger is the experiences people have, such as: parents eating less so their children can eat enough, seniors skipping meals to be able to pay for their medications, kids coming home to an empty fridge, and working adults who, to get enough food, can only afford inexpensive foods that do not nourish them and their families.
Who is hungry?
While the economy continues to improve since the Great Recession, many Americans are still struggling to make ends meet, and hunger continues to be a prevalent and pervasive issue in our area. It’s not always who you think; it could be your neighbor, your friend, a relative. Many people live paycheck to paycheck, and if their car breaks down, someone gets ill or someone loses a job, their security is jeopardized. Today, more than half a million people in Minnesota and Western Wisconsin face hunger, a crisis in which underemployment and rising costs of living play a role.
Children, including more than one-third of K–12 kids in Minnesota, rely on free or reduced-price lunches at school. Many did not have breakfast this morning or dinner last night. Being hungry makes it tough to concentrate at school and stay focused on their daily lives.
Working adults who are in lower-wage jobs may face tough choices – pay the rent or buy food? They feel the constant stress and anxiety of not knowing how they’ll feed themselves or their families.
Seniors living on fixed incomes are the most surprising and the fastest-growing population who are visiting food shelves. But they hesitate to ask for help, and are the ‘hidden hungry’ in our neighborhoods.
How we help
There is more than enough food available to feed everyone. Second Harvest Heartland leads through innovation, finding creative solutions to connect the full resources of our community with our hungry neighbors.