By Christopher Luebbe, Volunteer Coordinator
Working for an anti-hunger organization, it’s easy to forget that not everyone knows that 40% of the food produced in the U.S. ends up in landfills. We’d love to see it instead provide nourishment to children so they can learn and play and grow, to the people who keep things running now and help to build our future, to seniors who deserve the dignity and comfort of being free from hunger, and others who go to bed at night not knowing where their next meal will come from, or if they’ll have one at all. It’s easy to forget that not everyone knows the big numbers associated with food waste: 133 billion pounds, 161 billion dollars, 20% of landfill mass, 25% of agricultural water usage. But let’s be clear, when we talk about food waste (and food insecurity) the biggest waste of all is that of human potential. The things we should not forget are that hunger and worry over feeding oneself and one’s family lead to lower motivation, energy, and attention, higher stress levels and worse health, and all the productivity, achievement, and safety consequences that follow and that affect not just the individuals and families who are food insecure but ALL of us.
It’s easy to forget that not everyone knows the big numbers associated with food waste: 133 billion pounds, 161 billion dollars, 20% of landfill mass, 25% of agricultural water usage.
Imagine a world in which ALL children were better able to reach their full potential unhindered by pangs and other worse symptoms of hunger, a world in which everyone was able to do their job well and could strive to do it better or strive for a better job because they were free from the care about where their next meal was coming from and instead fueled by consistent healthy nourishment; a world in which seniors did not feel the burden of an empty stomach or feel themselves a burden on society’s resources. This is a world without the specific form of what is known as hunger, a world whose inhabitants in wanting not for food to sustain themselves are better able to be that most valuable resource that they should be, both for themselves and for others, and thereby not end up being wasted. As the saying goes…
So please help us end hunger forever by forwarding this post and getting involved in whatever ways most speak to you, whether it’s giving time, money, food, or all of the above; whether it’s working on the root causes of hunger, e.g. employment and living wages, affordable healthcare and housing, at the level of policy and legislation, or in the trenches; please speak out about these issues with your voice, with your vote, and with your wallet!