Kimberly Garrison has no appetite for hunger in the United States

"A Place at the Table" delves into America's hunger problem through the eyes of impoverished families.
"A Place at the Table" delves into America's hunger problem through the eyes of impoverished families.
Posted: March 14, 2013

IT REALLY angers me that there is still hunger in America, knowing that we are more than capable of feeding each and every citizen - but don't. As far as I'm concerned, access to healthy food should be an inalienable right.

Don't you agree?

Sadly, every day in these United States, 50 million people, including one in four children, are food insecure, which basically means that they're hungry and not sure when or from where their next meal is coming.

The recent documentary "A Place at the Table" removes the veil on this hidden-in-plain-sight national disgrace.

The film focuses on three families, but I was most riveted by the courageous Barbie Izquierdo, a single mother in North Philadelphia trying her best to feed her two young children with the limited funds she receives in food stamps. (According to the Coalition Against Hunger, 31 percent of Philadelphians participated in the SNAP food-stamp program last year.)

Izquierdo's story resonated with me because I know far too many hardworking moms who simply have fallen through the cracks.

I receive so many calls and emails from eager readers looking for solutions on how to eat well on food stamps and limited incomes. How can they afford salmon, or leaner - and more expensive - chicken breasts, or higher-priced fresh vegetables when they barely have anything left after rent and utilities?

One woman I know, who makes a little more than minimum wage and supports a family of three, told me that she doesn't make enough to provide three meals a day for her family - and she makes too much to receive SNAP benefits.

She always says to me, "How am I supposed to eat healthy? I can't afford these foods."

I make suggestions - more brown rice, more beans. But nobody wants to eat that all the time!

How can we expect people, especially our children, to thrive when every day is a struggle to just get something to eat?

Isn't it ironic that we live in both the wealthiest and least healthy nation in the world?

Isn't it insane that the government continues to provide corporate welfare, by way of subsidies to factory farms to the tune of a quarter of a trillion dollars a year, yet it will not subsidize the farmers who grow fruits and vegetables on a smaller scale for local consumption?

Don't all Americans deserve a living wage and nutritious foods to eat?


Kimberly Garrison is a wellness coach and owner of One on One Ultimate Fitness in Philadelphia. Her column appears Wednesdays.

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