By Tania duPont
a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food,
coupled with the desire to eat
verb [ no obj. ]
1 (hunger after/for) have a strong desire or craving for
2 archaic feel or suffer hunger through lack of food.
Food insecurity is the most broadly-used measure of food
deprivation in the United States.
1. The USDA defines food insecurity as meaning “consistent
access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and
other resources at times during the year.”
Often hunger and poverty go hand in hand- but keep
in mind this is not the ultimate determinant of food
insecurity. Multiple factors contribute to this
phenomenon and studies in the United States
indicate unemployment is a better predictor of food
● 45.3 million people (15 percent) were in poverty, including 14.7 million (20 percent) children under the
age of 18.
● 49.1 million Americans lived in food-insecure households, including nearly 16 million children.
Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs
that provides food and services to more than 46 million people each year.
● Based on annual income, 72 percent of all Feeding America client households live at or below 100
percent of the federal poverty line.
● The median annual household income of Feeding America clients is $9,175.
Price and income swings can significantly affect the poor and hungry. When
prices rise, consumers often shift to cheaper, less-nutritious foods, heightening the
risks of micronutrient deficiencies and other forms of malnutrition, which can
have long-term adverse effects on people’s health, development and productivity.
Source: FAO, The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014
Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five – 3.1
million children each year.
Hawaii Foodbank, through its network of
island food banks and their local food pantries
and meal programs, is providing food
assistance to more than 123,000 households
encompassing 287,000 Islanders—or one in
five island residents—including 47,894 keiki
and over 46,000 kupuna.
The mission of The Food Basket, Inc. is to feed the hungry in Hawaii County while
attending to the root causes of this critical social problem. The Food Basket will
accomplish its mission by:
● Preventing the waste of all edible food in Hawaii County;
● Feeding the hungry with this food;
● Educating the community about local hunger and what can be done to solve
this social problem; and
The Food Basket’s goals include:
● Eradicating hunger on the Big Island through redistribution of food that would otherwise
● Providing a connection between Big Island agriculture and its most vulnerable
● Serving our supporters and clients in the spirit of Aloha, with respect and kindness;
● Removing the stigma that has been unfairly attached to those needing assistance;
Hawaii Food Basket - have started a "local" version of CSAs -
wherein, low income families on this island - those w/ EBT cards
- can order a box of fresh produce weekly at a very reasonable
cost...it's always a "surprise" as items change week to week
depending on the available produce- but the idea is to provide
healthier food choices...too often, individuals/families who are
low income are forced to eat highly processed, high salt, high fat,
high sugar foods so this is to try to make healthier options
Waimea has recently been designed a BLUE ZONE project area
(actually, all of North Hawai'i - Waimea, North Kohala,
Which is a national program to enhance health/wellness...this
runs the full gamut from public policy to schools, restaurants,
businesses and food insecurity/hunger are just as big of an issue
as is overeating
Brought to Hawaii as a part of an innovative partnership between
HMSA and Blue Zones Project® by Healthways. Blue Zones
Project is a community well-being improvement initiative that
encourages changes to our surroundings and built-environment
that lead to healthier options. When all parts of the community
participate – from our worksites and schools to our restaurants
and grocery stores – the small changes each add up to huge
benefits for the community- lower healthcare costs, boost
productivity, improve quality of life.
-The process involves an application, an evaluation of the
community, which typically needs to be somewhere with a
critical mass of restaurants, workplaces, grocery stores, schools
and the ability to set food policy, and then selection.
-Following the selection, a team hosts open community meetings
in which 20 to 30 concepts that work in other communities that
have successfully adopted the Blue Zone project are presented. -
Each community is asked to select 10 or so concepts to try to
introduce in their area.
The built environment: Improving roads and transportation
options, parks, and public spaces
Municipal policies and ordinances: Promoting activity and
discouraging junk food marketing and smoking
Restaurants, schools, grocery stores and workplaces:
Building healthier options into the places people spend most of their
Social networks: Forming and nurturing social groups that support
Habitat: Helping people design homes that nudge them into eating
less and moving more
Inner selves: Encouraging people to reduce stress, find their
purpose, and give back to the community
Designating Waimea as a Blue Zone is a goal/ part of a long term
plan HMSA and Healthways have to make Hawaii become a
Blue Zone state.
HMSA has already committed to the program, taking steps to
become the state’s first Blue Zone company
World Hunger and Food InsecurityA Few Facts:
● One in every nine people on our planet go to bed hungry each night. FAO, The State of Food Insecurity in the World
● Hunger kills more people each year than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined. Source: FAO, The State
of Food Insecurity in the World 2014
● The vast majority of hungry people (791 million) live in developing countries, where 13.5 percent of
the population is chronically undernourished. Source: FAO, The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014
● One in four of the world’s children are stunted — an indicator of chronic malnutrition and
calculated by comparing the height-for-age of a child with a reference population of well nourished
and healthy children. In developing countries the proportion rises to one in three. Source: UNICEF, Improving
Child Nutrition, 2013
● Around half of all pregnant women in developing countries are anemic. This causes approximately
790-805 million people in the world do not
have enough to eat. This number is down
more than 100 million over the last decade,
and 209 million lower than in 1990–92.
Source: FAO, The State of Food Insecurity in the World 2014