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Promoting Food Security

My name is Hadleigh and I live in North East Arkansas. I’ve always assumed that people who are struggling financially deserved it because they didn’t work hard enough, or they just simply chose not to get a job. My perspective around that changed recently when my class took a trip and learned what it was like to live in a food insecure environment.

Here’s a picture of me with my class whenever we first got to Heifer Ranch.

Heifer Ranch is a 1200 acre ranch in the Ouachita Mountains of Perryville, Arkansas. Their goal is to raise more of an awareness surrounding world hunger, poverty, and food insecurity. Heifer International provides animals for families in need all around the globe. For example, instead of buying them milk, they provide for them a cow. They also teach them how to grow their own food sustainably. This helps provide food security all over the world.

What is food insecurity?

Food insecurity is “a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live an active, healthy life” (feedingamerica.org). Changing requires awareness, but also small applications to our daily lives. There are many families struggling here in Arkansas. According to frac.org, in 2016, 15.1 percent of U.S. homes were food insecure. In 2017 that grew to 15.7 percent of U.S. homes. Arkansas is one of the poorest states, and one of the most hungry. The infographic below states some facts surrounding food insecure households in America.

Lack of Access to Nutritious Food

Humans cannot survive without nutritious food.  Individuals who are overweight can also be food insecure due to not having access to a supply of nutrients needed because of “junk food” consumption. I live in a food desert. I know from experience that locally grown food will help those who struggle with food insecurity the most. The nearest grocery store with fresh produce is 15 miles away. Some people don’t have cars so they quite literally cannot get fresh produce.

Observe Your Environment

We can promote food security in our community by making fresh produce available. In local markets, produce is expensive. If we grow our own food and share with those in need, we are helping those in our community who are going hungry. I am planting a garden and I will give the produce to those who can’t afford fresh fruits and vegetables. You can provide food security for your community too by growing food, donating to local food pantries, or even just by supporting local growers. Look around you and truly observe your environment. Are people in your community going hungry?

Thank you for reading! You can connect with me/message me on Instagram @hadleighhbell. Also check out my blog! https://balancinghadleigh.wixsite.com/hadleighbell

Works Cited:

“Food Security – It Takes a Community.” Ecoliteracy.org, www.ecoliteracy.org/article/food-security-it-takes-community.

“Global Issues: Food Security.” Global Issues: Food Security, www.peacecorps.gov/educators/resources/global-issues-food-security/.

“Heifer International | Charity Ending Hunger And Poverty.” Heifer International | Charity Ending Hunger And Poverty, www.heifer.org/.

“Community Food Projects.” Food Security, 16 Mar. 2017, foodsecurity.org/cfs.

Beardsley, Eleanor. “For A Healthier Planet, Eat These 50 Foods, Campaign Urges.” NPR, NPR, 24 Mar. 2019, www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/03/24/706004242/for-a-healthier-planet-eat-these-50-foods-campaign-urges.

B., Caroline. “What Are the Environmental Benefits of Growing Your Own Food?” Triangle Pest Control, 7 Feb. 2018, www.trianglepest.com/blog/what-are-environmental-benefits-growing-your-own-food.

Klavinski, Rita. “7 Benefits of Eating Local Foods.” MSU Extension, 20 Sept. 2018, www.canr.msu.edu/news/7_benefits_of_eating_local_foods.

“What Is Community Food Security? |.” Alivebynature, alivebynature.com/views_cfs_faq/.


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COMMENTS: 5
  1. April 26, 2019 by Kabir.Singh

    Hi Hadleigh, I focused on Zero Hunger as well with my project, however I live in Nigeria, and hence my perspective and my analysis was far different from yours. I think it was more difficult for you to think about the implications of hunger where you live, because here the hunger and poverty is far more evident and visible. I think your experience to the ranch you went to was really good, as I hadn’t really thought about hunger with that in mind. I hadn’t thought about a fresh produce perspective, and I think that is a great idea.But my question is won’t that be very expensive to give a whole cow to a family. How many people can you help? Well done though!

    • April 26, 2019 by Hadleigh

      Hi!! I’m not buying them cows haha but I see where you got that. I will be providing fresh produce for people in my community instead. Thank you for reading!

  2. April 28, 2019 by Jay.Mehta

    Hadleigh,
    My sister works in the field of food security, so I’m somewhat exposed to this topic. However, I know I have so, so much to learn. Thank you for educating me, for your work, and for that garden. I hope it feeds many.
    It is always difficult to address problems in our backyards that we can easily turn away from. I am inspired both by your growth and by your action.
    Thank you,
    Jay

    • April 29, 2019 by Hadleigh

      Thank you for that! <3

  3. May 01, 2019 by Crystal.Wang

    Hi Hadleigh! I do have some knowledge of food deserts, but less on food insecurity in general. All your stats were really enlightening, and I admire you greatly for your choice to start growing and donating your own produce to those in need. Thank you so much for this project!

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