Happy Anniversary to our Blog!
May 9, 2022
The past several years have seen many people in our community through difficult times. The pandemic has led many families into an economic crisis, and people are facing food insecurity at unprecedented rates.
In an effort to recognize the realities of food insecurity that happen around us every day, we launched this blog in May of last year. We wanted to make it a priority to share with you, our network, about hunger in South Carolina. And today, a year later, it's just as important as ever to talk about hunger. But why and how is it important to have these conversations?
Food is one of the most basic needs, and at Harvest Hope, we believe that access to safe, sufficient, and nutritious food is a basic human right. Without food, people are unable to provide for themselves, their families or fulfill other secondary needs. Without the work our communities do to provide food to the hungry, people can get stuck in cycles of poverty and hunger. Secure access to food benefits not only the individuals receiving food but also positively impacts communities. Increased food security can promote economic growth, reduce overall poverty, and promote healthcare and stability in a community.
Our understanding of the world is shaped by the stories of our own experiences and the stories of others. These stories can work for or against dismantling the structures of poverty that enable hunger. Many present narratives about hunger and food insecurity can sometimes encourage feelings of shame and inadequacy. Such narratives are counterproductive and assume people facing food insecurities are somehow undeserving of access to food or to blame for their lack of access to food. The reality is the food inequalities are encouraged by structures of poverty that are rooted in racial and economic injustices or unforeseen circumstances.
It is a common misconception that people are hungry because of involvement in drugs or due to other active or conscious bad decisions. Realistically, most people that face food insecurity never imagined themselves in a place of such need. Situations that may lead to sudden food insecurities include: job loss, unexpected sickness or injury, loss of a primary provider, natural disaster, weakening infrastructure, businesses and banks drawing out of an area, and sudden shut-downs caused by Covid-19.
These hardships occur without the input or control of the community or people they affect. People plunged into a state of food insecurity can frequently recover if they have access to necessary, nutritious foods during their time of need. Access to food offers mechanisms for people to get back on their feet and prevents them from falling into further economic distress. It is our vision to eliminate hunger and promote happier and healthier communities. To do so, we must change how we talk about hunger.
We are thankful to have you and your voice with us in our fight to eradicate food insecurity from our communities. We are always glad to have your help. We encourage you to get involved by volunteering, giving, donating food, or hosting a food drive here at Harvest Hope Food Bank. To take your advocacy a step further, you can even commit to raising your voice in the fight against hunger through Feeding America's advocacy programs. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have, and here's to another year of blogging for hunger.
Changing the narrative around hunger is something you can do in your community. Consider trying to remember not to blame the individual, not to talk down about people facing food insecurity, avoid talking about hunger like it is shameful or always avoidable, and consider ways everyday people may encounter the hunger crisis.