In 2016, over 41 million Americans didn’t have enough to eat. One in six households with children in the United States is impacted by food insecurity. Hunger impacts people from all walks of life and from all communities, including yours. You may have personally experienced food insecurity at one time or another, or you may know someone who has. You may not know that your child’s classmate goes to school with an empty belly every day. Or that your elderly neighbor is one medical crisis away from hunger. You may never have imagined that your co-worker doesn’t get enough to eat in order to provide for their children.
The land-grant university system, including your local institution, works every day to combat hunger and provide real, science-based solutions to the challenge of American food insecurity. Through cutting-edge research and community-based Extension programs, land-grant universities are making progress on the complex challenges posed by food insecurity including:
- Through the Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast (EFSNE) project, a team of researchers has been working to improve food access in low-income communities across twelve states from Maine to West Virginia. While this region is home to 21% of the nation’s population, it represents only 6% of the nation’s farmland. More than 7 million Northeast residents do not have adequate access to an affordable food supply. The EFSNE project engages the entire food chain—from production to consumption—to increase the efficiencies of regional food systems including community gardens, community cookbooks and better access to locally and regionally sourced foods.
- Presidents United to Solve Hunger (PUSH) is a consortium of more than 90 university presidents that have the collective mission to end hunger and poverty. The nation’s best universities are contributing to the science of growing, processing, transporting and accessing food. PUSH seeks to make powerful progress in addressing the critical issue of hunger.
- 4-H, a Cooperative Extension Program supported with capacity funds, has nation-wide reach and provides important lessons for children through 4-H Healthy Living. 4-Her’s learn how to choose food according to healthy diet standards and set goals to improve their food resources management practices. The 4-H Healthy Living program has led to partnerships with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign and the Walton Foundation in which 75,000 at-risk youth and their families have participated in interactive educational programs about health.
These vital programs, and many others like them are made possible by funding from Congress. 1 in 6 households with children going hungry is a national tragedy. Help us combat hunger and ensure food security for all Americans here.