During the school year, children who come from poverty-stricken families have the chance to receive at least two free meals a day. For the 13 million children in the United States that live in “food insecure” households, this can be incredibly helpful. Unfortunately, with summer comes the loss of regular meals. This is why the city of Denver, Colorado, is offering free meals to school children, along with reduced price breakfasts and lunches for their parents.
Officials in the city of Denver recently announced that over 60 of their public schools will be serving free breakfast and lunch to kids aged 18 years or younger. The Summer Meal Program aims to ensure that all of the city’s students who depend on school lunches will still have access to a nutritious meal.
GoodNewsNetwork reports: “You don’t have to be a DPS student or a Denver resident to eat for free, either. Even parents are given a discounted meal for $2 breakfasts and $3.50 lunches.”
“We want to make sure during the summer that every single child has the opportunity to have some food in their bellies – to make sure that they have something to eat,” said Leonard Apodaca of the DPS Food and Nutrition Services. “Seeing their smiling faces, it’s… it’s just great. It’s very rewarding.”
Food insecurity isn’t a problem only in third-world countries. In the United States of America, approximately 16 million American kids struggle with hunger each year. In fact, No Kid Hungry estimates that 1 in 5 children goes hungry at some point during the year.
There are several ways hunger, in general, could be alleviated:
- The government needs to subsidize nutritious foods
What are the main crops subsidized by the government? Corn, wheat, and soy. Not only are these crops inflammatory-promoting, mainly due to the high chemical load sprayed on them, they are primarily fed to livestock.The agricultural industry is responsible for the majority of greenhouse gases which are exacerbating climate change. Furthermore, the cheap crops are used to make a variety of fillers and sweeteners which are toxic to the human organism.If change is to occur in the United States, the government needs to propose and construct vertical gardens in every main city. Community gardens also need to be prioritized. As people learn that they can thrive (and reduce their likelihood of developing diseases of affluence) on a plant-based diet, the demand for meat will reduce. This will benefit the planet.
- Reduction of food waste
Believe it or not, we presently grow enough food to feed 10 billion people. So, why is hunger still a concept? The answers are 1) greed and 2) food waste. In the United States, for instance, approximately 40 percent of the food consumers purchase is thrown in the trash.The truth is, most “sell by” dates are wrong. Depending on the type of food, most perishable items can last much longer than the expiration date. This is why a grocery store in Canada exclusively sells bruised (ugly) or “expired” items. Learn more here.
- Shift towards plant-based eatingAs briefly mentioned above, the majority of crops subsidized by the government are being used to feed livestock, including cows, chickens, and pigs. To raise these animals, an astonishing amount of water, land, and food is needed.For instance, it’s estimated that 477 gallons of water are required to produce 1 lb of eggs. It takes nearly 900 gallons of water to make 1 lb of cheese. In fact, animal agriculture is responsible for 20%-33% of all freshwater consumption in the entire world.
When it comes to land, animal agriculture is responsible for up to 91% of rainforest destruction. Furthermore, because livestock covers 45% of the Earth’s total land, it has been labeled as the #1 contributor to species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.
If you’d like to learn more facts, we highly recommend you check out this resource.
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