“Food insecurity” is a formal way of saying that people are hungry. And people are hungry all over this land of opportunity.
Food banks, churches, and charitable organizations from coast to coast are addressing this epic American problem, which echoes through the decades. During the Great Depression, our citizens stood in bread and soup lines. Today, our citizens line up in their cars during the pre-dawn hours hoping to secure the essential food items they need to keep from going hungry.
A Texas-Sized Problem
“It was a rough one today,” said San Antonio Food Bank President and CEO Eric Cooper, in August, after the largest single-day distribution in the nonprofit’s 40-year history. “We have never executed on as large of a demand as we are now.”
“It looked like prairie dogs out there, with all the people standing on top of their trucks, trying to get an eagle-eye view of the line to see how much longer they had to wait,” said Brian Billeck, marketing manager at Traders Village in San Antonio.
North Texas Food Bank in Dallas is also inundated with need. NTFB distributed more than 600,000 pounds of food for about 25,000 people last Saturday, according to spokeswoman Anna Kurian.
“Forty percent of the folks coming through our partners’ doors are doing so for the first time,” she said.
How A Simple Craker Can Help
TRISCUIT, a brand known for its woven, whole grain wheat crackers, announced the launch of The Missing Ingredients Project, the brand’s first-ever purpose-driven effort to help increase access to the variety of affordable, fresh foods lacking in food deserts. Through this initiative, TRISCUIT is committing $1 million in grant funding over the next three years to find and support individuals and non-profit organizations who are developing innovative ways to advance access to a variety of fresh, nourishing food in food deserts across the United States.
Food Deserts All Over this Land
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, approximately 19 million people, or 6.2 percent of the United States population, live in food deserts. These are geographic areas, either urban or rural, where access to affordable, healthy food options, including fresh fruits and vegetables, is limited or non-existent.
In food deserts, access is often restricted by several factors including distance to the grocery store, the number of stores in the area, family income, and availability of transportation.
TRISCUIT is launching a digital and out-of-home campaign featuring arresting visuals in the form of iconic “missing posters” that highlight the reality millions of Americans face: missing the nourishing food they need for balanced eating.
Out-of-home media placements can be found in neighborhoods across New York City, including on LinkNYC digital platforms, in close proximity to supermarkets, with the goal of emphasizing one of the factors impacting food access in food deserts: distance to a grocery store.
Cookin’ It Up
TRISCUIT is also partnering with James Beard award-winning New Orleans chef, Nina Compton, and L.A. based chef, restaurateur, author, and television personality, Ludo Lefebvre, to raise awareness of the issue and help TRISCUIT engage with changemakers.
“Access to fresh and healthy food is something many of us, including myself, take for granted,” said Compton. “In New Orleans, COVID has compounded the problem of missing food and we need brands like TRISCUIT to work toward a solution.”