ACCESS TO FOOD
“Healthy, affordable and accessible food for everyone everywhere.”
•14.7% of residents in Washtenaw County struggle with food insecurity or hunger.
•What is food insecurity? Food insecurity means lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life.
•Families with children have dramatic rates of food insecurity (92%) with parents frequently saying they skip meals and make portions smaller to make food last longer.
Food is a fundamental human right as an essential component to life. All people have a right to food, regardless of who they are, where they come from, their legal status, gender, race, sexual identity, or any other distinguishing characteristics.
One in seven people in our county is food insecure.This is a shocking revelation for a county that offers many great opportunities and is resource rich in many ways. Furthermore, it is still the more troubling when we examine the segregation of our county. Food insecurity in some neighborhoods is relatively low. People have enough to eat, they have access to grocery stores, and few in the community ever question if they will have enough food for their next meal. However, another reality exists: some neighborhoods are situated in food deserts where half the people are food-insecure, there are no easily accessible grocery stores and even those who have access to food are still scraping by. One’s zipcode should not determine someone’s health. A neighborhood should not be the determining factor in if an individual will have enough to eat.
We need to work to ensure that no person ever worries where their next meal will come from. Strengthening networks that ensure food access is the first line of defense in ensuring we are a hunger-free community.