In 2019, more than 35 million people in the United States struggled with hunger. Hunger is the physical sensation of discomfort due to not getting enough food. Every community in the country has families who struggle with food insecurity. Food insecurity is the lack of money or other financial resources for food. The pandemic has only increased the number of people facing food insecurity and hunger.
Living with food insecurity and hunger affects our mental and physical health. For children, hunger makes it difficult to concentrate and learn at school. Long periods of food insecurity can negatively impact growth and development in children and accelerate aging in older adults. Food insecurity increases the risk of infectious disease, chronic disease like diabetes or heart disease, and anxiety and depression.
Ways you can help:
- Donate—If you are able, donate money and/or healthy foods to your local food bank or food pantries. Check out options for healthy food pantry donations at https://bit.ly/38Gmmkv.
- Host a Food Drive—Contact your local food pantry for information on how to start a food drive.
- Volunteer—Food banks and pantries can always use extra help. Spending just a few hours once or twice a month volunteering will make you feel great, too.
- Spread the Word—Many people are unaware of the resources available in their community or how they can fight hunger.
If you or someone you know needs help, these resources are available:
Iowa Food Assistance Hotline, 855-944-FOOD (3663), to speak with someone about the Food Assistance Application.
2-1-1 connects callers to resources such as food pantries and support for older adults and persons with disabilities (such as home health services).
Source: Feeding America, www.feedingamerica.org.