“Hunger” is an ugly word and it is right in our own backyard. The truth about hunger in Iowa is inconvenient and unwelcome. There is a misconception that government programs and emergency food providers have resolved the hunger problem. Many people today assume mistakenly that hunger is not an issue. Actually, that is an illusion. The current food system does not provide enough affordable healthy food to all who need it.
When the weather turns hot, an electric fan can make a huge difference to someone living without air conditioning. And for those who have air conditioning but need to avoid high electric bills, using a fan in combination with the air conditioning allows them to tolerate a higher thermostat setting and hold down their consumption of electricity.
The Crisis Center’s Fan Club provides a great service by administering the purchase and distribution of electric fans. The costs of the fans are modest. The benefits are large. It feels great to help provide electric fans to those in need.
While this representation of hunger in our community was poignant, even those without a meal experienced only an ounce the distress caused to food insecure individuals and families continuously, day after day. In fact, they were incredibly lucky. They were surrounded by others with extra food who were happy to help them out when they noticed their empty plates.
But as our keynote speaker, Barbie Izquierdo pointed out, the hungry are often invisible to the rest of society.