Hunger, food insecurity, food justice. These are all words that are commonly used when talking about food banks and food banking. What do they really mean? What is the difference between them?
Food insecurity is the lack of access to food, while hunger is the physical discomfort you get due to the lack of food.
According to Feeding America’s Map the Meal Gap, 12.6% of the population in Pima County is considered food insecure, 12.6% in Cochise County, 13.8% in Graham County, 10.8% in Greenlee County, and 14% of Santa Cruz County is considered food insecure. These are the five counties that we serve here in Southern Arizona.
There are many factors that cause food insecurity. Factors like a person’s geographical location, race, income, and more. Someone living in a food desert, with the nearest supermarket miles away, is restricted in getting healthy and nutritious food.
This is where food justice comes into action– looking at the roots of our food system, and how we can improve access so everyone can get nutritious, culturally appropriate food.
At the Community Food Bank, we work to make more locally grown food accessible in our Farmers’ Market, work with local growers to get fresh nutritious food out in the community and help people learn to grow their own food in their gardens or at Las Milpitas Farm.
Want to learn more and get involved? Sign up for advocacy and action alerts at https://www.communityfoodbank.org/get-involved/advocate/.