An Alternative Approach to Hunger Relief

For a while, now, I’ve been troubled with our approach to addressing food insecurity. I certainly see the importance of national programs like WIC and SNAP. But on a local level, we are rather short-sighted, focusing on emergency relief through soup kitchens and food pantries, rather than addressing the root causes of food insecurity. The problem is that many people who utilize emergency food relief do so on a regular basis over long periods of time. That means that we are causing health problems by providing people with unhealthy, processed foods month after month. We are also disempowering people by taking away their self-determination in their food choices. How can we create the opportunity for empowerment and self development through our local food assistance programs? Take a look at this fantastic blog post where Mark Winne envisions the changes he would like to see in food banks.