VALLEY — This week is Hunger Education Week, an annual event hosted by La Puente meant to educate the community on this issue in the community.
Most understand hunger as a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food, coupled with the desire to eat. Those who suffer from hunger are in a state of food insecurity, the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Hunger Education Week is meant to help educate the community on the high rates of food insecurity that exist in US and especially in the San Luis Valley.
What most don’t understand is how prevalent food insecurity is in this country. In a recent study by Food Research and Action Center the results were alarming: 83 percent report children eating cheap, unhealthy foods so their families can pay the rent; 66 percent of children report having to skip meals so their families can pay the rent; 79 percent of seniors have to choose between paying for prescription drugs or paying for food; 77 percent report their family goes a whole week without fresh fruits or vegetables; 65 percent of families fail to seek food assistance because they’re embarrassed to ask for it. It is this reality that greatly conflicts with the attitude of most Americans. Eighty-six percent agree with the statement “in the United States of America, no one should go hungry.”
To get closer to the aim of no one should go hungry in the United States, individuals must come together to work on solutions and advocate for change. Each year La Puente, through the Food Bank Network, Community Gardens, and community meals, serves nearly 400,000 meals to residents of the San Luis Valley. An army of volunteers and supporters makes that work possible, but to truly end hunger greater changes must be made.
With this end in mind, La Puente is working to ensure that no child is at risk of hunger, that people can get help during hard times while ensuring food banks are well stocked to help those in need and so that families have a solid foundation by having access to nutritious food. If you agree with these goals, please join La Puente at their Hunger Advocacy Happy Hour, Thursday, April 27, from 4-6 p.m. at The Roast, 420 San Juan, Alamosa. Attendees will have an opportunity to learn more about hunger in the community and how they can advocate their elected officials to make these goals closer to a reality.