America’s economy is the strongest it’s been in years, and the national unemployment rate currently sits at 3.7%, which is the lowest in over a decade. With so much positive news, it’s easy to forget that the country has a problem with wealth inequality, and that many Americans go hungry every day.
According to Feeding America, about 1 in 5 children lack proper access to food at some point during the year. There are 48 million Americans facing hunger each year, which is perplexing when paired with the fact that 70 billion pounds of food go to waste each year.
The problem isn’t as simple as routing previously-wasted food to hungry mouths, and it’s also not an issue that exists in only certain parts of the country. Statistics show that hunger affects people in nearly every county in the country, and that the problem has to do with poverty as opposed to food scarcity. Here in the land of plenty, it’s not that they can’t get what they need – it’s that they can’t pay for it.
Feeding America reports that there are about 21 million children that receive free or subsidized lunches at school, and that almost half of those also receive free breakfasts. Being away from school, on the weekends or during the summer, also means being away from a reliable source of food.
If you’re at all familiar with The CE Shop Foundation, you know that this plight is the very reason we formed our organization. It’s a cliché at this point not to waste your food since there are hungry children in Africa, but there are actually hungry children right next door. We believe you’ve got to start with your neighbors if the problem is at all going to be conquered.
We’re capping off an excellent year for our 501(c)(3) organization, and we’re excited to feed even more kids in 2019. As the new year rolls in, think about the less fortunate who may have to tack on “find food” to the seemingly-endless list of worries that cold weather brings with it. After all, just a $4 donation is enough to feed a family of four for an entire weekend.