Hunger is Everywhere
Today, hunger is everywhere – whether in the city, suburbs, or even the rural areas. The basic need of food is one of the critical problems that exist in Deschutes County. According to Feeding America’s 2011 Meal Gap Study, Oregon has the nation’s highest rate of “child food insecurity.” About 252,000 kids – or nearly 30% of the state’s youth – don’t know where their next meal is coming from. The Giving Plate is experiencing a 35-40% rate of kids needing food. Deschutes County still maintains a high unemployment rate which is the 11th highest is the nation.
People with low incomes wrestle over buying food, or medicine, or putting gas in their cars (if they have a car). They wrestle over buying school supplies or milk or keeping the phone on. Kids who do homework online may not be able to if parents have to make a decision between food or the internet. Children need nutritious food in order to be able to concentrate and succeed in school without the pangs of hunger on their minds. Parents too are able to eat healthy meals, which provides them the nourishment to make good choices in life –- they can expend their energy on looking for employment with a living wage while not having to worry where the next meal will come from.
Six million elderly are not getting the nutrition they need. They may be home bound, in which case they are unable to get food. It is a community’s responsibility to take care of their elderly.
Taking part in relieving these situations is what The Giving Plate is all about. The need to enhance the health of the community is essential to the retention of our population and economic growth.