WELCOME TO MANNA!
Manna Food Project helps feed the hungry in Antrim, Charlevoix, and Emmet counties in Northwest Michigan. Manna is a partner organization of the Feeding America Food Bank Network and is funded entirely through the generosity of individuals, corporations, and foundations.
Why Hunger is a Health Issue
Jessyca Stoepker | August 8, 2019
Physicians, healthcare providers, and a growing number of other professionals have come to recognize hunger as a health issue. This is because many factors outside of genetics or medical care contribute to a person’s well-being–including social, economic, physical, or other conditions related to our surrounding environments.
Poverty, for example, involves a person’s economic status. That means it directly affects what a person spends their money on. Fresh veggies for the week, or a utility bill? Snacks for the kids, or a car payment?
Between low-paying jobs and caring for kids, many turn to cheap grab-and-go meals that are full of saturated fats, sodium, and sugar. But these “convenience” foods–cheeseburger dinners, gas station burritos, breakfast sandwiches from fast food chains–are hardly convenient in the long run.
A multitude of studies have shown that regular consumption of these foods may lead to chronic diseases like type II diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and even arthritis. Obesity may also arise, often happening when food deprivation is followed by overeating when food is finally available.
How do you measure hunger?
Hunger is a feeling that can be different for everyone, but the term “food insecurity” is the best way to actually measure the conditions that can lead to hunger. According to Feeding America West Michigan (FAWM), food insecurity describes a household’s inability to provide enough food for every person to live a healthy life.
We cannot tell just by appearances who among us may be struggling to make ends meet. One "bad month" out of the year can be enough to plunge a household into food insecurity. Lay-offs at work, unexpected car issues, or an accident may suddenly force a family to choose between buying food and paying other bills. Millions of Americans face situations like this every day that may lead to food insecurity and hunger.