Hunger is a complex problem that requires multiple solutions. Read on to better understand some of the more common anti-hunger terms used to reframe the issue.
A community garden is a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people. Community gardens provide fresh produce and plants as well as labor, neighborhood improvement, sense of community, and connection to the environment.
Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) is an alternative, locally-based model of agriculture and food distribution. CSA members pay a farmer at the onset of the growing season for a share of the anticipated harvest; once harvesting begins, they receive weekly shares of vegetables and fruit.
Double Value SNAP Coupon Programs allow a family on SNAP to purchase twice as much in fresh produce at a farmers' market.
Farmers' Markets are markets where consumers purchase food directly from farmers and artisans.
Food rescue is the process of collecting healthy fresh food from local restaurants and supermarkets and distributing it to community organizations where it is cooked and eaten. Food rescue improves the environment, improves public health, and saves money.
Food Security refers to a household's physical and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that fulfills the dietary needs and food preferences of that household for living an active and healthy life.
Gleaning is the act of collecting leftover crops from farmers' fields after they have been commercially harvested or on fields where it is not economically profitable to harvest.
Home-Delivered Meals bring daily meals to seniors and the disabled who are homebound and cannot cook for themselves. Therapeutic meals may be available for certain medical conditions, and some programs also offer frozen weekend meals.
According to the USDA, households with low food security make up about two-thirds of food-insecure households. These households manage to get enough to eat, but reduce the quality, variety, or desirability of their meals to do so. Members of these households are at elevated risk for a number of problematic health and developmental conditions, but because they do not substantially reduce the amount of food they eat, they are not likely to suffer from hunger in the sense of the uneasy or painful sensation caused by lack of food.
Senior Meal Programs include congregate dining sites, which offer nutritious meals to seniors at senior centers, churches and apartment complexes. These sites, sometimes called "lunch clubs," also provide seniors with an opportunity for social interaction. Available to any senior, regardless of income, there is no application process, but some programs require a reservation in advance. The meals are free, although voluntary donations are encouraged.
SNAP, which stands for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly food stamps), provides income eligible families in Massachusetts with extra buying power.
Filed under: Community Solutions
Urban Agriculture is the practice of cultivating, processing, and distributing food in or around a city. Urban agriculture contributes to food security and food safety in two ways: first, it increases access to fresh vegetables, fruits, and meat products for urban residents and second, it strengthens the local economy by providing jobs and economic activity.
According to the USDA, households with very low food security - the more severe condition - make up about one-third of food-insecure households. In these households, at least some members reduce the amount of food they eat below usual levels and below the amount they consider appropriate. In most of these households, the adult respondent reports that in the past 12 months he or she was hungry and did not eat because there wasn't enough money for food. If these conditions extend to children, the household is classified as having very low food security among children, the most severe range of food insecurity.
WIC is a nutrition program that provides nutrition and health education, health food, and other services free of charge to Massachusetts families who qualify. WIC also has an electronic benefit card and a ‘WIC Shopper’ App to make shopping more convenience and faster than ever before! You can now apply for WIC online at https://www.mass.gov/how-to/apply-for-the-women-infants-children-wic-nutrition-program