For mom’s like Laqueeta providing for their children is their single most important job. Not being able to provide the basic necessaries of food, water, and shelter is a REAL dilemma many families face in the United States of America. According to Feeding America’s Children, 16 million American children struggle with hunger (2018). In Arizona specifically, 1 in 4 children; 1 in 5 adults; and 1 in 7 seniors struggle with hunger (Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank, 2018).
Arizona is tied for 5th worst state in the United States for food insecurity. In Maricopa County more than 623,300 (16.5%) people live in poverty and 26% of those living in poverty are children (Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank, 2018).
The topic of HUNGER is important to me because as a Nurse, African American Female, Sister, and Friend I have seen first hand the effects of hunger on the care I am able to provide to my patients. I was born in Nairobi Kenya and my deep African roots have seen first hand extreme poverty and the affects it has on communities. This topic also became relevant to me during a clinical rotation in rural Show Low, Arizona. I saw first hand how poverty and insufficient food affect children’s health.
The Arizona Hunger Advisory Council published the “Arizonans Preventing Hunger Action 2017” In this document the counsel lays out 9 strategies to increase food security. These nine strategies are presented under 3 main topics:
- INCREASE ECONOMIC SECURITY FOR PEOPLE, COMMUNITIES,
AND THE STATE OF ARIZONA
- CULTIVATE A STRONG REGIONAL FOOD SYSTEM
- MAXIMIZE THE EFFECTIVENESS OF ARIZONA’S FOOD ASSISTANCE SAFETY NET (Department of Economic Security, 2017)
The Arizona Advisory Counsel of the Department of Economic Security is working on these strategies to help decrease the hunger statisitics in Arizona. As we delve moreinto this topic I will discuss more concerns surrounding hunger and share the amazing work that is being done in Arizona. Keep reading I promise you will be hungry for more stories.
Beechnut. (2018, September 12). #RealFoodForChange: Help Us End Child Hunger [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ilwl4aZ23fA
Department of Economic Security. (2017). Arizonans preventing hunger action plan 2017. Retrieved from Department of Economic Security website: https://des.az.gov/sites/default/files/media/Arizonans-Preventing-Hunger-Action-Plan-July-2017.pdf
Fast Casual. (2015). Ending Child Hunger [web image]. Retrieved from https://www.fastcasual.com/articles/restaurants-working-toward-ending-child-hunger/
Feeding America’s Children. (2018). Why Food Rescue?. Retrieved from https://www.feedingac.org/why-food-rescue/
Matthew’s Crossing Food Bank. (2018). Hunger Statistics. Retrieved from https://matthewscrossing.org/hunger_statistics