Five Reasons churches should address hunger
Dabney Dwyer is the missioner of outreach for the diocese. She is an advocate for the poor and oppressed. She also serves on the leadership team of the Dallas Coalition for Hunger Solutions and co-chairs the faith-based action team.
- In Texas 27 percent of children are food insecure. Some of the possible effects of hunger and food insecurity in children are irreversible brain damage, inattention and lack of concentration, absenteeism, grade repetition, an increased risk of suicide, and a higher chance of development of lifelong disease.
- Hunger does not discriminate. It affects all age groups, all races, and all cultures and is prevalent in every country in the world. While the United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, more than17 million households are food insecure. Poverty is the primary reason for food insecure households.
- Senior hunger often goes unnoticed. A study by AARP revealed that Texas ranks fourth in the country for having the most seniors, age 60 or older, who are food-insecure. This is 10 percent of that age group. Many seniors are homebound and disabled and do not have access to even one nutritious meal a day.
- Working households are still hungry. Fifty percent or more of households that are food insecure have at least one household member working. Low wages and underutilization of available benefits such as SNAP, contribute to household food insecurity.
- Children may be hungry during the summer. Children who participate in free/reduced lunch programs during the school year often do not receive adequate food and nutrition during the summer months.
For ideas and solutions to mitigate hunger in your community, download a free Hunger Solutions Guide for the faith community.
Sources: Feeding America, AARP, Texas Hunger Initiative, USDA