Monthly Archives: March 2013
Hunger affects everyone differently. It can be a child struggling in school, an adult finding it hard to concentrate at work or put a meal on the family table, or a senior citizen who just can’t make ends meet on a fixed income. Food banks all over Iowa have come together to address the growing issue of hunger in various way. As such, there are a number of ways to address the growing issue of hunger in Iowa.
For a child, being hungry can make it hard to concentrate in school resulting in bad grades and a lower self-esteem. Bad grades in school make it more difficult for a child to achieve success later in life- in college, work, and social relationships. A child in a constant state of hunger can result in being mal-nourished, underweight and result in stunted physical development. Yet, this is not a problem without a solution. The Backpack Program is spreading throughout Iowa to serve the needs of hungry children by providing a backpack full of child-friendly, nonperishable and easily consumed food that children can take home on weekends and holiday vacation.
For elderly Iowans, hunger can be the result of tough financial decisions. During cold Iowa winters heating bills escalate and seniors have to forego groceries to make ends meet. Malnourished seniors are at higher risk for illness resulting in higher medical costs, resulting in a vicious financial cycle. As a result many food banks throughout Iowa are implementing Senior Food Programs to help alleviate the burden of hunger.
For families, hunger can mean choosing between making a mortgage payment or buying groceries. Unpaid bills result in bad credit that will follow an adult the rest of his or her life and can affect every financial decision made. Hunger can result in poor job performance stemming from a lack of energy resulting in little to no motivation. However, food pantries and food banks can be found in most major cities and seek to serve the poor and hungry by providing meals or food products. These organizations are always looking for volunteers and food products with which to serve this needy population.
The Virtual Food Drive is one of the most effective ways to address hunger in Iowa. For every $1 donated, 4 meals can be purchased for hungry Iowa families. This online food drive is simple and easy to use- just shop the online food store and purchase food items or a conveniently packed food bundle and then check out to complete your contribution. To address hunger in Iowa today and make your contribution, please visit http://www.iowafooddrive.com/.
Hunger is a growing issue for Iowans of all ages. Luckily, this is a problem with a solution. Every person has a choice to either be a part of the problem or a part of the solution. Indifference is the problem, chose to be a part of the solution by learning more and getting involved.
Written by Katie Reidy, SNAP Outreach Worker for the Iowa Food Bank Association