Champions of the Global Goals: Holley LeFeber
Zero Hunger and Why it Matters
A popular candy maker has made a very successful ad campaign about how hunger impacts your behavior. The suggestion is distinctly that life is better, and you’re a better person, when you’re not hungry. They play it for humor but how true is it?
First, let’s distinguish between being hungry and hunger. Using strictly my own interpretation of it, hungry means I’m going to eat at some point but I’d rather do it now. Hunger means I’d like to eat but am not sure about when my next meal will be.
Fine tuning a bit is the term food insecurity – the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food (United States Department of Agriculture). The USDA has been tracking food insecurity trends in the US for 20 years. They break down the distribution of those experiencing food insecurity to the degree of its occurrence within households and whether or not that insecurity is applied to children.
It’s difficult to pinpoint the impact of hunger amongst the myriad of difficulties faced by those who are affected, but temporary grouchiness is of minor concern. If hunger is experienced in the first three years of a child’s life, their growth and cognitive functions are impacted. Younger children tend to be physically ill more often but, as the children age, the malfunctions become mentally and cognitively measurable. This includes increased difficulty in peer relationships, lower math scores, and a higher potential for repeating grades in school. Results are even more dire as the children age to the teen years as thoughts and actions become suicidal.
Where’s the candy bar in this? There’s not one. But there’s a nice healthy carrot. You’ve taken step one by reading this blog and raising your awareness. And the US has made moves to bring this issue to the general public’s attention by using commercials and advertisement to let the public know about the prevalence of hunger here.
Acting is next. Use your awareness to notice opportunities to help.
- In the Dallas area, grocery stores are offering the opportunity to buy a bag of groceries to be donated to the local food bank for $9.
- If your office is looking for opportunities to do good a canned food drive is an excellent way to help people in your area. Consider doing them outside the normal holiday timelines as food banks run low during the summer.
- Support a business that is active in the cause. Impact2030 is about businesses leading the charge for change. Feeding America has a list of their partners here.
Learn more about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, and see how you can support Global Goal #2: Zero Hunger.