Learning about food insecurity in the community
By Emily Stieve
United Way of South Wood & Adams County
WISCONSIN RAPIDS – Have you ever gone without eating a meal? Have you ever had to figure out how you are going to get food to feed your family with no money to do so?
When we talk about the topic of providing food to those in need, Feeding America says, “It is important to know that hunger and food insecurity are closely related, but distinct concepts. Hunger refers to a personal, physical sensation of discomfort, while food insecurity refers to a lack of available financial resources for food ….”
Hunger and food insecurity are real, complex issues that too many face here in south Wood County. These issues cannot be solved by one entity or by one solution; collaboration and creativity are key to addressing these challenges in our community.
Since 2012, the South Wood County Hunger Coalition has been working together with food providers, community members, and others who help address hunger issues. The coalition is fighting hunger in our community by working collectively toward the goal, “Community members have access to food.”
According to coalition data, from Jan. – Sept. 2018, 25,435 people were provided food that normally wouldn’t have access to food. In addition, 11,253 community meals were served through a community meal program.
The coalition focuses on helping to support access to nutritious food and awareness of the need in our community. Additionally, the coalition has been an avenue for food programs to collaborate and share resources to further support those in the community who suffer from food insecurity.
Nov. 10-18 is National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week. Throughout the month, the South Wood County Hunger Coalition is sharing stories of the services provided to those who are food insecure.
As you read these experiences and learn more about how food insecurity impacts many in our community, the Coalition challenges you to: Get involved – Join the discussion and attend a community coalition meeting. Visit https://www.uwswac.org/coalition-meeting-schedules for meeting dates and times. Volunteer – There are a lot of ways to help whether it’s organizing a food drive or volunteering at a current food program. Visit http://www.volunteerinnerwisc.org/ for more information. Share – Tell three other people what you’ve learned.