Zoey is an 11 year old girl from Mississippi who waits patiently at her school lunch line for her first meal of the day. Zoey leaves her house on an empty stomach almost every day of the year. After her school lunch, Zoey goes home to an empty fridge and is never sure where her next meal will come from. The daily struggle for Zoey is constant hunger and the search for food. Zoey is only 1 of over 20 million children in America who are affected by this problem every single day.
Hunger and food insecurity has affected over 50 million americans in 2015 alone. 1 in 6 Americans suffer from hunger every day. This number has only increased in the U.S. in the past 10 years it will continue if there are not some serious changes made. Hunger and poverty are generally more associated in countries that are poor, however, it is becoming a growing problem in the United States. With such a large number of Americans affected by such a big issue, efforts to put this to a stop have been so far unsuccessful.
It’s easy to empathize over those who are hungry and food insecure, but it easier to help than you might think. In the United States, 165 billion dollars worth of food is thrown away a year, that’s over 40% of the overall food produced in the world coming into the United States is never eaten. Just think about how much food we waste or throw away and don’t think twice about it. If we all wasted just 5% less of our food, it would help feed over 4 million hungry americans. If we all wasted 20% less of our food, it would help feed 25 million Americans. It is much easier to reduce your waste than you might think: Plan your meals out so you know how much food you need, request smaller portions at restaurants for a discounted price, Donate non-perishable and unspoiled perishable food to local food banks, soup kitchens or shelters.
This serious issue affects far too many Americans for us not to help out as a country. The battle to end hunger in our country has always been an obstacle, but if we spread awareness and reduce our waste we can finally put this problem behind us.