A recent article by Feeding America begins with a simple, all-consuming phrase, “Hunger does not exist in a vacuum.” The repercussions of food insecurity cannot be extricated from overall health and wellness, both physical and emotional, of those experiencing hunger. Along with the the health effects caused by improper nutrition, the emotional fatigue and stress caused by food insecurity and poverty on a larger scale causes several adverse health effects, including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, a weakened immune system, and other potentially debilitating illnesses.
The graphic below provides a visual representation of the cyclical nature of food insecurity and its affect on wellness. As stress caused by hunger increases, household income decreases, cost of healthcare increases, and the ability to maintain gainful employment withers. When people have to choose between spending money on their health and other necessities, health is not the top priority.
Children experiencing food insecurity are more likely to present with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses that will negatively affect their performance in school, emotional wellbeing, development of soft skills, and overall potential, thus continuing the cycle above into their adulthood. Many will lack the social supports needed to ensure this doesn’t happen.
At Bread & Roses, we strive to provide our guests with holistic services. That’s why we make sure our meals are wholesome as well as delicious, and that our guests have access to medical care and basic personal care products in a dignified environment. It is our goal to relieve some of the stress that food insecurity imposes upon our community and to help break this cycle.