I have been fortunate to live in a very socially aware community that has the benefits and amenities one can find in a big city, but with a smaller population (approx 40,000). The amount of programs and food shelters in respect to the need is thankfully not as daunting as larger metropolitan areas. That although our community seems to have done well with getting food into peoples' bellies a large issue looms on the horizon. GOOD FOOD, healthy food, is still way too expensive.
We have been rated national as one of the healthiest cities in America however when I walk through downtown or in the Old North End, it can be hard to see the poor nutrition in children that are unhealthy because they cannot afford healthier alternatives to an ever rising junk food market.
Are they getting calories? Yes.
Are they getting healthy? No.
This is a problem! I know it must sound terribly insensitive to those from communities without any food for me to be advocating healthy food as a food crises. However this is the case in my community. I think it is important for communities that have food to really press food quality issues so that when other cultures address food crises that are based on abundance, or lack thereof, that these communities can leap frog us and start on a path to healthy nutritious food.
I have a degree, which has gotten me a good job. I provide for only myself, no dependents. I cannot fathom how families are capable of not just putting food on the table but put healthy food on the table in support of multiple people.
Many of them can't, and many more haven't the education to know how to make due with what you have and eat healthy on a tight budget. It is hard to stop someone who is trying to stretch their dollar as far as it will go, to stop and learn about nutrition. We need to make healthy food more accessible, more a priority.
If we can change the world ethic regarding quality of food then hopefully it is that ethic that will guide relief efforts to places that need it. I am sure many already do but I would just hate to think that a community who is rising out of the issue of starvation and beginning to prosper be immediately supplanted by a McDonald's as soon as they have the cash to pay for it.
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