Eric Aft: Does It Matter What Food We Provide?

Updated: Aug 28, 2019

It wasn’t that long ago that hunger was generally perceived in a vacuum. But today, food insecurity is being seen as a health problem that impacts over 41 million people nationwide, with a financial toll estimated at $160 billion a year.

Food insecurity has slowly declined over the last several years, but the scope of the problem–and its implications on the health of families and our communities–is continuing to garner increasing attention, especially across the healthcare industry. The medical community has come to understand that a host of social factors outside of the clinical setting, including food insecurity, have an immense impact on health outcomes. The conversation is changing, and now includes food banks such as ours.

The problem of hunger in our communities is not so much a shortage of calories as it is a shortage of resources to secure more nutrient-rich options. People who are struggling financially are, understandably, often more concerned with quantity than quality. It is not all that uncommon to see people who are malnourished or poorly nourished also struggling with obesity.