Millions of working Americans don’t know where their next meal is coming from and one-sixth of Americans don’t have enough food to eat (McMillan, National Geographic, 2014). As our team explored what we thought was a shocking piece of information, we found that many working families in the US are faced with food insecurity and rely on food pantries or food programs like SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). A study by Oxfam and Feeding America (2014) shows that more than half of the Feeding America’s clients live in working households, approximately 25 million individuals. And most of them rely on food pantries not only for emergency, but for their everyday survival strategy!
During our preliminary research, we learnt that close to home, in NYC, one of the richest city in the US approximately 1.4 million people rely on soup kitchens and food pantries. (Foodbanknyc.org). In particular, we realized that the need for community food programs was growing fast among “the working poor — people who have jobs and work hard, but who still don’t make enough to feed their families” (New York Times, 2016).
Based on these shocking facts, our team decided to focus our project on the following challenge question: How can we support working families provide healthy meal access for themselves and their children?
Crystal Pang, Divya Shakya, Amira Dhanoa, Bridget Burton DeFranco, Inbal Bina Mandelkar