Good Example Of Food Insecurity Article Review
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Through the years, the number of people going hungry has increased with population. As the population of the world grew, the need to produce more food became a general issue. A more depressing issue is the fact that not only the amount of food is depleting but also the quality of it.
In the article entitled “The Relationship between Food Banks and Household Food Insecurity among Low-Income Toronto Families,” authors Loopstra and Tarasuk (2012) describe the state of food insecurity in Canada. Food insecurity is another term for hunger where it is defined to be as inadequate food access due to, in part, lack of financial resources. Food insecurity has been correlated to low income, house ownership (or lack thereof), as well as reliance on social assistance that might be given by the government. Due to hunger, it is also linked to heightened nutritional vulnerability, low food quality and also an increase in chronic health problems. If a person does not get or is not getting enough nutrition, it is expected that his or her immune system is weakened thus making that person vulnerable even to the weakest disease. Not only that a hungry person is being threatened by diseases constantly, medication is yet another burden.
Canada’s solution to its widespread food insecurity is the implementation of food banks. These banks are voluntary community food assistance programs collected from donated food from the public as well as from the food industry. Food banks redistribute the collected food to those in need. This program was initiated during the 1980s but in the 1990s, its effectiveness was brought to question but still continued due to the lack of other solutions. Food banks then acquired support and endorsement from the government. Politicians even issued appeals for the public to donate to this program to help those families in need. Even though food banks were flourishing at that time, it still failed to address the issue of hunger or food insecurity. A household survey in the 1900s revealed that these food banks were not being used by food-insecure households.
According to the article, research has proven that there are reasons why food-insecure families chose not to turn to food banks to overcome hunger. One reason is that families stated that the food available at food banks does not match the food that they need. Also, most of the food in food banks has poor quality. They were described as not fresh, healthy food and the food available does not meet everybody’s dietary restrictions, such as Hala food. Moreover, available food being distributed was rotten, can be classified as junk food, and well past their expiration date. Another reason was the families themselves or their identity. Some families felt that the program was not for them, that they thought or aim of the program was for the homeless and the unemployed. Also, these families who chose not to go to food banks felt that they do not need it and that there are less privileged who deserve it more. Also, reasons like insufficient needs as well as barriers that restricted the families to access food banks were also identified in the article as reasons why food banks were not used.
For a government undergoing such crisis or dilemma, it is evidently hard to address the problem. If a large population of the country is experiencing hunger, the most effective solution that could be done is to target the problem from its roots, to determine the primary cause of the problem. Food banks are only temporary solutions because of the fact that food banks exist through donations. By depending on donations, the quality of food is not assured. Some privileged families who donate to food banks might even think that quantity should have more priority than quality. This is not true when it comes to food. Quality even might be more important than quantity. What good is plenty of food when it is not enough to meet the nutritional requirements of the body? It is important to take note that the nutrients a person gets from food consumption are the ones responsible for alleviating the immune system and thus acts as a protection from diseases. The fact that the food banks try to diminish only hunger is not enough to address the issue. It overlooks the fact that not only hunger can be the cause of death but the diseases that take advantage of a hungry person’s body are even more depressing.
Loopstra, R. and V. Tarasuk. "The Relationship between Food Banks and Household Food Insecurity among Low-Income Toronto Families." Canadian Public Policy 38.4 (2012): 497-514. PDF. JSTOR. 25 February 2015.
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