Hunger has been called the most severe and critical manifestation of poverty. Further, in the insidious, cyclical nature of the relationship between the two, hunger causes poverty. Think of the child born to poverty who seldom has access to a filling, nutritional meal. The resulting poor health, diminished body size, low energy and reduced mental capability from hunger act to foreshadow a replication of the process. It doesn’t have to be this way.
Hunger in America is not due to a food shortage
Unlike many places elsewhere in the world, we are fortunate to have an abundance of food resources right here before us. The challenge is getting it to those in need on a regular, ongoing basis.
The scope of the problem
It is estimated approximately 11.5% of Orange County residents are living in poverty. The population is a little over 3 million. Then the pandemic hit. By any measure, more than 400,000 people in Orange County, one of the most affluent counties in the country, are at-risk of hunger.
Addressing a problem of this magnitude requires a large-scale operation. It starts with coordinating the entities that have the food with the programs who can distribute the food to the hungry. Contributions come from food industry manufacturers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers. Food also comes from organizations’ food drives, as exemplified by this recent Disney parks food donation.
Many of the hungry are either homeless or living in inadequate housing without access to even minimal kitchen facilities. For them, if we can provide one hot meal a day from the generous contributions of our partners, that goes a long way to boost both their physical and mental health. Caterina’s Club has provided over 1.4 million meals to the needy since the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
With the help of our partners, we can fight this devastating scourge of hunger and poverty. Be aware. Contribute what you can and help make a difference!