Editorial: Support Hunger Action Month by spreading food for thought

Editorial: Support Hunger Action Month by spreading food for thought
September 17
00:00 2015

Many people might not think about it, but hunger is a devastating condition. Without food, human bodies, including our brains, deteriorate and eventually die. It’s such an important issue that nonprofit and religious organizations as well as governments spend a lot of money working to alleviate it.

For instance, programs help children in school get food when they might not be able to. Yet those who don’t have enough food to eat many times are stigmatized by society.

September is Hunger Action Month. Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest N.C. is enlisting local businesses and others to help raise awareness of hunger during the month and to show support for the organization’s work and local food assistance agencies across the region.

“So many people that we speak with are shocked to learn how significant a problem hunger is right here in our community,” said Jenny Moore, marketing and PR manager for Second Harvest Food Bank. “What we’ve witnessed over and over again is that once people know, they find ways to help. Awareness is key. That’s why we’re asking everyone we know to pledge to tell someone about hunger.”

Throughout Hunger Action Month, Second Harvest Food Bank will be holding a number of special events to provide an opportunity for interested people and groups to connect with others who are invested in supporting and creating solutions to address hunger plaguing our communities.

The Chronicle participated in one event the food bank organized with Wake Forest University and others that drew 160 people. The event, called Feeding Change: an Interactive Community Conversation on Hunger, was held on Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Innovation Quarter.

The event featured conversations that centered on three questions:


  1. How might we enhance access to healthy food and nutrition education for needy children and adults in the Triad?


  1. How best to engage neighborhood residents – across the Triad – to address food insecurity, both in their own neighborhood (as appropriate) and in the larger community?


  1. How might we reduce the perceived stigma associated with dependence on food stamps, emergency pantries and similar sources of food assistance?

Wake Forest University Provost Rogan Kersh served as the emcee for the evening. People moved from table to table to discuss one question at a time. Media representatives served as moderators at each table.

The experience was eye-opening. As different people traveled to each table, different experiences and ideas were revealed.

At one table, it was revealed that a student gave a meal to a student in his class.

At another table, which had Question 3, about the stigma of efforts to reverse hunger, a point was made: Many more people are using food stamps, emergency pantries and similar sources of food assistance because of the lagging economy since 2008. So, the stigma of using those assistance vehicles might not be as bad as before then.

Still, another surprise was when people at the tables admitted they had needed some sort of food assistance at some point in their lives.

Kersh said that suggestions to fight hunger would be compiled from the discussions at the tables and combined into a document. He said the project is a year-long one.

Some solutions suggested as the groups reported to the body as a whole involved conducting social experiments in which people go hungry for a while to understand how it feels, forming talent banks in which people are paid for their work in food, bringing food trucks to communities and educating people who serve the hungry and those in the community to restore the dignity of those who need help.

Hunger is a serious matter that affects a great deal of people. Take action during Hunger Action Month and beyond to make sure it is minimized in your lifetime.


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