When it comes to who "should" or who is "eligible" to visit our or any food shelf, there are many misconceptions and stigmas. We're here to not only kick the stigma, but educate the world on what hunger relief looks like and who it involves.
The short answer is it affects and involves everyone is some capacity. Whether you realize it or not, you or someone you know is or has experienced food insecurity at some level at some point in their life.
If you are one of the extremely fortunate ones who this doesn't apply to, then hopefully you are aware of this problem and are here to help us end hunger not only in the USA but in the world.
Food Insecurity is defined as the disruption of food intake or eating patterns because of lack of money and other resources according to healthypeople.gov. Understanding what this truly means is where it gets tricky!
Here is one of the many images that depicts the variations of food insecurity.
There are many reasons households experience insecurity and they often may slide from one level to another, and back again in a matter of days. This is why our work is so important. People who "should" visit food shelves aren't always the people you expect. Sometimes someone may drive a nice car but has just experienced a massive loss or trauma that has impacted them financially. Perhaps a recent medical diagnosis forced someone to choose between purchasing life saving medications and putting food on their table. There are endless circumstances that can send someone into the "red zone." It could even be that they recently got a raise which increased their health care premiums and/or sent them into another tax bracket which can affect all of their finances (Yes this is real and happens all the time!).
Hunger Relief is not black and white, there is not a one size fits all solution and there is no one face of what someone looks like that needs our support. Food shelves are no longer just a place where you get canned goods and shelf stable foods, we are a place that offers a wide variety of nutritious options and often times household items.
Contact us or your local food shelf if you are experiencing any level of food insecurity-we are all compassionately here to help.
Executive Director FHC