We cannot SOLVE long-term PROBLEM with short-term SOLUTION

The first Hunger Awareness Week in Indiana is on July 20-27, 2019 where non-profits, businesses, churches and neighborhoods are coming together to help alleviate hunger.

Governor Eric Holcomb proclaimed July 20-27 to be Hunger Awareness Week in the state of Indiana

This is the first series of events in Indiana where businesses, churches and local residents will come together to raise more awareness of the food insecurity problem that has been lingering in the state. This week is dedicated to raise awareness in order to help alleviate hunger.

A sad state of the nation

Around 1 in 9 Americans suffer from food insecurity, about 42 million. In Indiana, 1 in 6 Hoosiers are food insecure, totaling 910,000. Indianapolis was labeled as one of the largest food deserts in the nation.

Food insecurity plus food deserts equal hungry children families and workers.

This has profound effects on both our immediate, as well as state and national health.

The effects of hunger

Beyond stress and fatigue, serious and long-term health problems have links to food insecurity, even the profitability and security of your business. Type 2 diabetes and heart problems are responsible for thousands of deaths and millions of dollars in medical expenses each year and are also closely linked to food insecurity. The negative health effects reach beyond the walls of hospitals and into our schools, neighborhoods, businesses, and homes.

Food insecurity has been directly linked to multiple measures of failure in school, from truancy to behavior issues, to grades and test scores. Income plays a major role in food insecurity, 72% of the households affected by food insecurity live at or below the federal poverty level with a median annual household income of $9,175. A staggering 29% of repeat food pantry clients have full time jobs. A study from Clemson University found that a 1% increase in food insecurity led to a startling 12% increase on violent crime. Another study by a university revealed that more than 1/3 of college students are food insecure. These issues are affecting our neighborhoods and our cities.

And yet, a study revealed that America has more than enough food to feed everyone. But the land of plenty is also the land of waste. According to some studies, $162B worth of produce (alone) is wasted and 63M tons of food is wasted every year. The sad thing is that our homes contribute the most waste, which is about 27M tons.

So where’s the gap between 42M people experiencing food insecurity and 63M tons of wasted food?

We cannot solve long-term problem with short-term solutions

Beyond the physical helps, we need the relational, the logical and the spiritual solutions. Hunger is complex and cannot be solved by just food alone. We need to redefine the deeper role of food pantries, not just a place to distribute food but a place of establishing a community of faith, hope and love. In the process of giving food away, we need to uncover the other deep-seated needs such as relationships, job training, education, counseling and other referrals. Beyond the pain of hunger is also pain of emotions that affect our interaction with others; it affects the learning capacity of the children and the productivity and safety of workers.

Most of us are not aware of these unfortunate statistics.

In an effort to raise the public consciousness about hunger and innovative solutions, FHL is hosting the Hunger Awareness Week in Indiana:

Schedule of Events:

  • Hunger Walk on Saturday, July 20 9am to noon at the Indianapolis Canal starting at Walnut Street basin. Corporations and other organizations are invited to take a part in this hunger walk. Sen. Jim Merritt will be speaking about hunger.
  • Prayer Walk on Sunday, July 21. Local churches will do prayer walk for an hour in their own neighborhoods and will start simultaneously at 3pm. The Prayer walkers are encouraged to bring canned goods to their local churches to help in raise the hunger awareness and help the local food pantries.
  • Hunger (0-0-1) Challenge on Monday thru Friday, July 22-26. This event is to challenge individuals to experience how it feels to be hungry by eating one meal a day. Each participant is encourage to raise awareness and support the cause of Faith Hope and Love to raise funds in alleviating hunger beyond bags of groceries. At their option, they can join a group of people who will be walking from one food pantry to further experience the plight of some food insecure population. Details of the route will be published on www.fhlinternational.info
  • Hunger Awareness Community Gathering on Saturday, July 27 at 1100 W. 42nd St. Indianapolis 46208 9am to 2pm. This is open to the families and residents to fellowship, fun things with the kids with former Indianapolis Colts players and food trucks. Contact 317-572-5793 or info@fhlinternational.org for available Vendors’ Space before July 17th.
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