Healthify Blog

Thanksgiving and Food Insecurity

If you are planning on volunteering at or donating food to a food bank, food pantry, or soup kitchen this Thanksgiving, Healthify encourages you to take a moment to think about those whom you are helping. If the people you are helping are food insecure during one of America’s most bounteous holidays, how do they fare for the rest of the year?

midwestern_food_bank

Now, I’m not necessarily talking about hunger, which is still an all too common problem. I don’t readily know how many of the 49 million Americans classified as food insecure go to bed hungry each night (note: food insecurity and hunger are not equivalent conditions, but we’ll do a blog post on that some other time).  I’m only mentioning that 49 million Americans (that’s a few million more than who are officially considered impoverished) have some form of food insecurity that either prevents them from getting enough food for an active lifestyle or the scarcity of nutritional food. This last aspect of food insecurity is particularly troubling as many low-earning Americans’ diets are dominated by less than nutritional meals that can lead to obesity and other health complications.

So, when you donate food this holiday season, please consider making a healthy choice and think about donating to food-related charities at other times during the year as well when thoughts of bountiful harvests, holiday cheer, and charitable giving are not as common place. When the issue is least thought of is often when it is most needed.

Topics: social determinants of health