The USDA defines food insecurity as a state in which “consistent access to adequate food is limited by a lack of money and other resources at times during the year.” Other terms for food insecurity are “struggling to avoid hunger,” “hungry, or at risk of hunger,” and “hungry, or “faced by the threat of hunger.”
How many Arizonans struggle with food insecurity?
Arizona’s hunger rates are higher than national averages: 17.8% of Arizonans are food insecure, compared to 15.9% nationally, and 28.2% of Arizonan children face hunger, compared to 21.6% nationally. This translates to 1 in 3 Arizonan children going to bed hungry every night.
“Food insecurity” impacts the whole household and is not simply a broad term for hunger. Some members of the family may be shielded from food insecurity due to caregivers giving up their resources. Most food insecure households have at least one working person, and they still struggle to make ends meet.
How do we fight food insecurity in our community? At Waste Not, we rescue and deliver excess perishable food to our community in need. Our program provides a resource for our network of nonprofits that care for families and individuals that are food insecure. Our trucks are on the road six days a week, delivering up to 15,000 pounds of food a day to feed the Valley’s hungry men, women, and children.
We fed over 75,000 people last year and we expect to feed even more this year. We rescued almost 3 million pounds of food last year alone and are on track to rescue more. However, our work is far from over, there is still more food to be rescued and hungry mouths to feed, and we hope to add a sixth route so our impact can extend even further to get us closer to our goal that no request for food will go unanswered.
How can you get involved?
As a member of our community, you can assist Waste Not by participating in our events and fundraisers throughout the year or by donating to our cause (www.wastenotaz.org/donate). We were awarded the highest rating by Charity Navigator for our effective and efficient use of the donations we receive. Over 96% of our donations go to our one and only program fund. The generosity of our donors and community make this possible.
Thank you for your support and together, we can help Drive Hunger Out of Our Valley.