With the recession forcing thousands of Rhode Islanders to turn to food pantries for the first time in their lives, the Rhode Island Community Food Bank is under unprecedented strain.
For many Rhode Islanders, it’s a choice between medical care, paying their rent and buying food.
Without adequate food at critical stages in their lives, children are more likely to suffer from behavioral and psychological problems, difficultly concentrating and reduced performance in school, increased aggression, increased rate of disease and hospitalization, and may not even grow to their proper height.
Hunger is one of those problems, like chronic debt or disease, that compounds itself over time, perpetuating cycles of poverty and powerlessness. But hunger is a unique and hopeful case because of the plenitude of obvious, available, non-political solutions. America wastes somewhere between 14 and 50% of its food, depending on your source (read this enlightening article about a 2004 study on food waste, or this 1997 USDA policy brief, or this 2010 article on freeganism; then decide for yourself!) — but regardless of the exact figure, even 14% could feed millions.
So donate to a food bank, dive into a dumpster, or join a campaign — at the very least, clean your plate! Whatever you do, remember that there’s more than enough food for everyone, if we share.