The ocean is the heart of our planet. It needs our help to be healthy.
The ocean covers over 71% of the Earth’s surface and serves as our planet’s heart. Ocean currents circulate vital heat, moisture, and nutrients around the globe to influence and regulate our climate, similar to the human circulatory system. Cool, right?
Our ocean systems provide us with everything from fresh oxygen to fresh food. We need it to survive and thrive—and when the ocean struggles to function healthfully, the whole world is affected.
Pollution, overfishing, and climate change are the three biggest challenges preventing the ocean from doing its job, and it needs our help now more than ever. Humans created the problem; now humans are responsible for solving it.
#BeOceanWise is a global rallying cry to do what you can for the ocean, because we need the ocean and the ocean needs us. If you’re wondering how—or if—you can make a difference, the answer is a resounding YES. There are a myriad of ways you can help, even if you don’t live near a body of water. For example, you can focus on reducing the amount of plastic you purchase for yourself or your family.
Another easy way to help clean up our oceans is to be aware of what’s known as the “dirty dozen.” Every year, scientists release an updated list of the most-found litter scattered along shorelines. The biggest culprit? Single-use beverage and food items such as foam cups, straws, bottle caps, and cigarette butts. If you can’t cut single-use plastic out of your life completely, we understand. Just make sure to correctly recycle plastic when you are finished using it. A staggering 3 million tons of plastic ends up in our oceans annually. Imagine the difference we could make if everyone recycled!
The 2022 "Dirty Dozen" ListOcean Wise
If you live near a shoreline, help clean it up! Organize or join an effort to take action and make a positive impact in your community alongside your friends, family, or colleagues. You can also tag @oceanwise on social if you spot a beach that needs some love. The location will be added to Ocean Wise’s system so you can submit data on the litter found during future Shoreline Cleanups. This data helps Ocean Wise work with businesses and governments to stop plastic pollution at its source. In Canada, Ocean Wise data helped inform a federal ban on unnecessary single-use plastics. Small but important actions like these greatly help reduce the litter that ends up in our ocean.
Ocean Wise, a conservation organization on a mission to restore and protect our oceans, is focused on empowering and educating everyone from individuals to governments on how to protect our waters. They are making conservation happen through five big initiatives: monitoring and protecting whales, fighting climate change and restoring biodiversity, innovating for a plastic-free ocean, protecting and restoring fish stocks, and finally, educating and empowering youth. The non-profit believes that in order to rebuild a resilient and vibrant ocean within the next ten years, everyone needs to take action.
Become an Ocean Wise ally and share your knowledge with others. The more people who know how badly the ocean needs our help, the better! Now is a great time to commit to being a part of something bigger and get our oceans healthy again.
The safe was stolen 22 years ago.
A new trend in treasure hunting called magnet fishing has blown up over the past two years, evidenced by an explosion of YouTube channels covering the hobby. Magnet fishing is a pretty simple activity. Hobbyists attach high-powered magnets to strong ropes, drop them into waterways and see what they attract.
The hobby has caught the attention of law enforcement and government agencies because urban waterways are a popular place for criminals to drop weapons and stolen items after committing a crime. In 2019, a magnet fisherman in Michigan pulled up an antique World War I mortar grenade and the bomb squad had to be called out to investigate.
Fifteen-year-old George Tindale and his dad, Kevin, 52, of Grantham, Lincolnshire in the U.K., made an incredible find earlier this month when they used two magnets to pull up a safe that had been submerged in the River Witham.
George has a popular magnet fishing YouTube channel called “Magnetic G.”
After the father-and-son duo pulled the safe out of the murky depths, they cracked it open with a crowbar and found about $2,500 Australian dollars (US$1,800), a shotgun certificate and credit cards that expired in 2004. The Tindales used the name found on the cards to find the safe’s owner, Rob Everett.
Everett’s safe was stolen during an office robbery in 2000 and then dumped into the river. “I remember at the time, they smashed into a cabinet to get to the safe,” Everett said, according to The Daily Mail. “I was just upset that there was a nice pen on my desk, a Montblanc that was never recovered.”
The safe was stolen in the year 2000 \n\n#magnetfishinghttps://www.granthamjournal.co.uk/news/teenager-finds-safe-containing-thousands-of-dollars-9250637/\u00a0\u2026— Grantham Journal (@Grantham Journal) 1650615191
The robber, who was a teenage boy, was apprehended soon after the crime because he left behind a cap with his name stitched inside.
The father and son met up with Everett to return his stolen money and the businessman gave George a small reward for his honesty. He also offered him an internship because of the math skills he displayed in the YouTube video when he counted the Australian dollars. “What’s good about it is, I run a wealth management company and… I’d love him to work for us," Everett said.
Although the safe saga began with a robbery 22 years ago, its conclusion has left Everett with more faith in humanity.
“I was just amazed that they’d been able to track me down,” he said. “There are some really nice and good people in this world. They could have kept the money, they could have said they attempted to get hold of me.”
“There’s a big lesson there. It teaches George that doing good and being honest and giving back is actually more rewarding than taking,” Everett added.
Treasure hunting isn’t the only allure of the hobby for George. His mother says the hobby has taught him a lot about water pollution and its effects on local wildlife. “George is very environmentally conscious. He always has been since primary school,” she said. “When he first started to do this, he was after treasure. Everything ends up in the rivers and canals.”
This article originally appeared on 04.25.22
All language has a history.
As much as we'd like to pretend every phrase we utter is a lone star suspended in the space of our own genius, all language has a history. Unfortunately, given humanity's aptitude for treating each other like shit, etymology is fraught with reminders of our very racist world.Since I have faith that most of you reading want to navigate the world with intelligence and empathy, I figured it'd be useful to share some of the everyday phrases rooted in racist etymology.
Knowledge is power, and the way we use and contextualize our words can make a huge difference in the atmospheres we create.
According to Meriam-Webster's dictionary definition, a thug is "a violent criminal." Obviously, this definition leaves the word open to define people of all ethnicities.
However, given the frequent ways this word has been used to describe Black Lives Matter protesters, the 17-year-old murder victim Trayvon Martin, and sadly, almost every black victim of police brutality — there is an undeniable racial charge to the word.
When you consider the people who are called thugs — groups of black protesters, victims of racist violence, teenagers minding their own business, and flip the racial element, you'd be hard-pressed to find examples of white people being called thugs in earnest by the media (or really by anyone).
let me get this straight. Marshawn Lynch is "thug" because he doesn't talk enough, & Richard Sherman is a "thug" because he talks too much?— Coach Ray Hubbard (@Coach Ray Hubbard) 1422371279
Several prominent activists and black writers have written about the phenomenon of thug replacing the n-word in modern culture. In a popular press conference back in 2014, the Seattle Seahawks player Richard Sherman explained his feelings about the word.
"The reason it bothers me is because it seems like it's an accepted way of calling somebody the N-word now. It's like everybody else said the N-word and then they say 'thug' and that's fine. It kind of takes me aback and it's kind of disappointing because they know," Sherman said.
If a 1400 SAT score and a degree from Stanford makes you a "thug" then I want my kids to be thugs. @RSherman_25pic.twitter.com/MWuWWPNSWh— Bipartisan Sports (@Bipartisan Sports) 1440294552
If you're talking about an actual criminal, there are so many descriptive words to invoke besides "thug." Given its current use as a negative, racially-coded word, avoiding its use seems like an easy and obvious move.
2. Grandfather Clause
When most of us hear the term "grandfather clause" we just think of the generalized description: a person or entity that is allowed to continue operating over now expired rules. But the literal meaning reveals the "grandfather clause" was a racist post-Reconstruction political strategy.
This is the historical definition, according to Encyclopedia Britannica:
"Grandfather clause, statutory or constitutional device enacted by seven Southern states between 1895 and 1910 to deny suffrage to African Americans. It provided that those who had enjoyed the right to vote prior to 1866 or 1867, or their lineal descendants, would be exempt from educational, property, or tax requirements for voting. Because the former slaves had not been granted the franchise until the adoption of the Fifteenth Amendment in 1870, those clauses worked effectively to exclude black people from the vote but assured the franchise to many impoverished and illiterate whites."
In modern speak, this basically meant the Grandfather Clause let white people off the hook for new voting requirements because their ancestors were already registered voters. Meanwhile, black people were required to fill out impossible literacy tests and pay exorbitant poll taxes to vote. This in turn, meant many black people were unable to vote, while white people weren't held to the same standard.
3. Gypsy or "Gyp"
The word "Gypsy" was (and is) a racial slur referring to the Roma people. The Roma people are descendants of Northern India who, due to severe marginalization and threats of violence by others, lived a nomadic lifestyle of forced migration for centuries.
During a fraught history, Roma people were taken as slaves in Romania and were targeted for genocide by the Nazis.
The word "Gypsy" is a slang word perpetuating stereotypes of Roma people as "thieves, rowdies, dirty, immoral, con-men, asocials, and work-shy" according to the Council of Europe.
In a similar vein, the term "Gyp" or "getting gypped" means to cheat or get conned, and many connect this meaning as another racist extension of Gypsy.
4. No Can Do
The saying \u201cno can do\u201d and \u201clong time no see\u201d came from Westerners mocking Chinese immigrants https://twitter.com/trashyewest/status/995768305003610112\u00a0\u2026— Justin Beauchamp (@Justin Beauchamp) 1526397713
According to the Oxford Dictionary, the very common phrase "no can do" was originally made popular as a way to make fun of Chinese immigrants.
"The widespread use of the phrase in English today has obscured its origin: what might seem like folksy, abbreviated version of I can’t do it is actually an imitation of Chinese Pidgin English. The phrase dates from the mid-19th to early-20th centuries, an era when Western attitudes towards the Chinese were markedly racist."
5. Sold Down The River
"The phrase 'sold down the river' came from Louisville, Kentucky, where the enslaved were traded in one of the largest slave markets of the 19th century."https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/02/louisville-confronts-its-redlining-past-and-present/517125/?utm_source=twb\u00a0\u2026— Pedro da Costa (@Pedro da Costa) 1524505436
Upon first hearing, many people associate the phrase "sold down the river" with the notion of being betrayed, lied to, or otherwise screwed over. While these definitions all technically apply to the origin, the root of this phrase is much more bleak.
According to a report from NPR, being "sold down the river" was a literal reference to slavery, and the families that were torn apart in the south.
"River" was a literal reference to the Mississippi or Ohio rivers. For much of the first half of the 19th century, Louisville, Ky., was one of the largest slave-trading marketplaces in the country. Slaves would be taken to Louisville to be "sold down the river" and transported to the cotton plantations in states further south.
This heavy connotation sadly makes sense, but also makes casual use of the phrase feel way more cringe-inducing.
6. Welfare Queen
The GOP argument on Obamacare has more than a whiff of Reagan-era racial "welfare queen" politics ---> http://www.nationaljournal.com/politics/a-brutal-translation-of-the-disincentive-to-work-20140206\u00a0\u2026— Ron Fournier (@Ron Fournier) 1391695820
The term "welfare queen" was first popularized by Ronald Reagan's 1976 presidential campaign in which he repeatedly painted a picture of a Cadillac-driving welfare queen.
This straw woman in Reagan's campaign served as a racially-charged exaggeration of one minor case of real welfare fraud used to pedal his platform for welfare reform.
Needless to say, the term has sadly lived on as a racially-charged vehicle used to undermine the importance of welfare programs, while peddling gross stereotypes about black women.
On top of all the other offenses, this stereotype is of course ignoring the fact that poor white Americans receive the most welfare out of any economically-disadvantaged demographic.
7. Shuck And Jive
Obama's Shuck and Jive Ends With Benghazi Lies http://fb.me/1m3q5c2IR— Sarah Palin (@Sarah Palin) 1351093162
The term shuck and jive is both common and very obviously rooted in the language of slavery.
According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, the phrase shuck and jive refers to:
"The fact that black slaves sang and shouted gleefully during corn-shucking season, and this behavior, along with lying and teasing, became a part of the protective and evasive behavior normally adopted towards white people in ' traditional' race relations."
Likewise, the modern usage of this phrase refers to pandering, selling out, or instances in which black people go along with racist white people's wishes. Again, not a phrase to be thrown around lightly.
8. Long Time No See
The very commonly used greeting "long time no see" first became popular as a way to make fun of Native Americans. The phrase was used as a way to mock a traditional greeting exchanged between Native Americans.
This is the official definition, according to the Oxford Dictionary:
"Long Time No See was originally meant as a humorous interpretation of a Native American greeting, used after a prolonged separation. The current earliest citation recorded in the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) comes from W.F. Drannan’s book Thirty-one Years on Plains (1901): ‘When we rode up to him [sc. an American Indian] he said: ‘Good mornin. Long time no see you’."
The act of committing genocide is not limited to human lives, but also translates to a normalized cultural violence. Deconstructing, mocking, and erasing someone's language contributes to this pattern of colonialism.
9. The Peanut Gallery
Did you know the phrase 'peanut gallery' has racist origins?\n\nIt was the cheapest and worst part of the theater, and the only option for Black attendees. No one wanted to sit in the peanut gallery and today, no one wants to hear from the peanut gallery. #RewriteBHM #BHMpic.twitter.com/vwHHHWLeVP— Nat'l Urban League (@Nat'l Urban League) 1518542600
Most modern uses of the term "the peanut gallery" is in reference to a group of people who needlessly criticize or mocking another person. However, the historical roots of this term are much more racist and painful.
Originally, this term referred to the balconies in segregated theaters where black people were forced to sit. The nickname "peanut" was given due to the fact that peanuts were introduced to America at the same time as the slave trade. Because of this, there was a connection drawn between black people and peanuts.
MINORITIES MUST STAND UP TO ABUSE:\nKneeling to protest at games is tasteful yet effective. But white owners and racists think blacks are too uppity. \n"Uppity\nWord used by racist old white Southerners to refer to any black person who looks them in the eye." --URBAN DICTIONARYpic.twitter.com/CrRQJqTyTl— LJ Rochelle (@LJ Rochelle) 1527193180
As of now, the word "uppity" is often used as a synonym for "stuck up" or "pretentious" or "conceited." But the roots of the word are far more specific and racist.
The word Uppity was first used by Southerners to refer to slaves who did not fall into line, or acted as if they "didn't know their place."
So, basically, any black person who overtly stood up to racism. Given the heaviness of this origin, it seems best to leave this word at home when looking to describe a pretentious acquaintance.
Sadly, given our ugly history, there are many more words and phrases I could add to this list. In the meantime, hopefully this list is helpful for navigating the racism innate in our language.
The article was originally published by our partners at someecards and was written by Bronwyn Isacc.
This article originally appeared on 02.04.19
30 dump truck loads and two years later, the forest looks totally different.
One of the biggest problems with coffee production is that it generates an incredible amount of waste. Once coffee beans are separated from cherries, about 45% of the entire biomass is discarded.
So for every pound of roasted coffee we enjoy, an equivalent amount of coffee pulp is discarded into massive landfills across the globe. That means that approximately 10 million tons of coffee pulp is discarded into the environment every year.
When disposed of improperly, the waste can cause serious damage soil and water sources.
However, a new study published in the British Ecological Society journal Ecological Solutions and Evidence has found that coffee pulp isn't just a nuisance to be discarded. It can have an incredibly positive impact on regrowing deforested areas of the planet.
In 2018, researchers from ETH-Zurich and the University of Hawaii spread 30 dump trucks worth of coffee pulp over a roughly 100' x 130' area of degraded land in Costa Rica. The experiment took place on a former coffee farm that underwent rapid deforestation in the 1950s.
The coffee pulp was spread three-feet thick over the entire area.
Another plot of land near the coffee pulp dump was left alone to act as a control for the experiment.
"The results were dramatic." Dr. Rebecca Cole, lead author of the study, said. "The area treated with a thick layer of coffee pulp turned into a small forest in only two years while the control plot remained dominated by non-native pasture grasses."
In just two years, the area treated with coffee pulp had an 80% canopy cover, compared to just 20% of the control area. So, the coffee-pulp-treated area grew four times more rapidly. Like a jolt of caffeine, it reinvigorated biological activity in the area.
The canopy was also four times taller than that of the control.
The forest experienced a radical, positive change
The coffee-treated area also eliminated an invasive species of grass that took over the land and prevented forest succession. Its elimination allowed for other native species to take over and recolonize the area.
"This case study suggests that agricultural by-products can be used to speed up forest recovery on degraded tropical lands. In situations where processing these by-products incurs a cost to agricultural industries, using them for restoration to meet global reforestation objectives can represent a 'win-win' scenario," Dr. Cole said.
If the results are repeatable it's a win-win for coffee drinkers and the environment.
Researchers believe that coffee treatments can be a cost-effective way to reforest degraded land. They may also work to reverse the effects of climate change by supporting the growth of forests across the globe.
The 2016 Paris Agreement made reforestation an important part of the fight against climate change. The agreement incentivizes developing countries to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, promote forest conservation and sustainable management, and enhance forest carbon stocks in developing countries.
"We hope our study is a jumping off point for other researchers and industries to take a look at how they might make their production more efficient by creating links to the global restoration movement," Dr. Cole said.
This article originally appeared on 03.29.21
Experience dining room furniture that's as much about craftsmanship and quality as it is about sustainability and style.
When it comes to furniture, the essence of true value transcends mere affordability. It's also about the craftsmanship, the meticulous attention to detail, and the rich stories behind the finished piece. And with dining room furniture from Plank+Beam, every grain of wood, every finish, and every design element is a vivid testament to an unwavering commitment to quality and excellence.
Now, think about the furniture that graces your dining spaces. Does it elevate every meal, every gathering, every moment shared? In an era where dining and entertaining are central to our lifestyles, there's a growing emphasis on selecting furniture that stands as a testament to quality and timeless elegance. A truly modern dining space is as much about the experience as it is about aesthetics. And with brands like Plank+Beam setting the gold standard, curating that perfect dining ambiance has never been more attainable.
At the heart of Plank+Beam lies a simple yet profound belief that it's entirely possible to meld the allure of solid wood furniture with unmatched value. This isn't just about crafting a piece of furniture; it's about creating art that's accessible. Every curve, every finish, every texture is a testament to their commitment to quality without the exorbitant price tag. With Plank+Beam, you're not just buying furniture; you're embarking on a journey where every step, from browsing to delivery, is crafted with you in mind.
When you think of
Plank+Beam, imagine a dance between German precision and Danish artistry. It's a blend that brings forth the meticulousness of German engineering and the flair of Danish design. This European influence isn't just a nod to the past; it's a forward-thinking approach to furniture crafting, ensuring each piece is both functional and a work of art.
But the story doesn't end in Europe. Charleston, a city renowned for its legacy of artisans and craftsmen, plays muse to Plank+Beam. Drawing from Charleston's rich tapestry of design and craftsmanship, the brand weaves a narrative that's as much about honoring tradition as it is about setting new standards in furniture design.
Every Plank+Beam creation is a testament to unparalleled craftsmanship. The heart of their work lies in the solid New Zealand pine wood, chosen for its enduring strength and captivating grain patterns. This wood forms the canvas upon which the brand paints its masterpiece.
Beyond the wood, the brand's dedication to durability shines through in the metal-on-metal connections, ensuring each piece stands firm through countless gatherings and celebrations. The finishing touch? A meticulous multi-step process that not only accentuates the wood's inherent beauty but also guarantees its longevity.
For Plank+Beam, quality is more than just a benchmark—it's a narrative woven into the very fabric of their brand. It's evident in the precision engineering, the thoughtful design, and the promise that each table, chair, or bench will not only be a visual delight but also a lasting companion for memorable dining experiences. In every detail, from the choice of materials to the final delivery, Plank+Beam commits to elevating the essence of dining, one exquisite piece at a time.
Imagine a dining set that's more than just a place to eat; it's a statement, a conversation starter. The Modern Solid Wood Dining Table Set with 2 Benches from Plank+Beam is precisely that. Its textured wire-brush finish exudes a contemporary charm, while the knot-free New Zealand pine wood ensures durability and a premium feel. But what truly sets it apart is its transformative power. Whether it's a casual family dinner or a festive gathering, this set elevates any dining space, making every meal feel like an event.
There's something timeless about a classic, and the Classic Solid Wood Dining Table is no exception. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, its solid pine wood construction stands as a testament to Plank+Beam's commitment to quality. But it's not just about looks. This table is a chameleon, seamlessly fitting into a cozy breakfast nook, a bustling kitchen, or even a chic office space. Its versatility ensures that no matter where it's placed, it becomes the room's centerpiece, drawing admiration and compliments alike.
Chairs are often the unsung heroes of a dining space, but with Plank+Beam's Solid Wood Dining Chair set, they take center stage. Marrying modern neutral finishes with a sleek, minimalist design, these chairs epitomize understated elegance. But they're not just about aesthetics. Designed with comfort in mind, they offer a seating experience that's as delightful as the meals you'll enjoy on them. Whether paired with a Plank+Beam table or standing alone, they bring a touch of style and sophistication to any dining area.
Plank+Beam stands out, not just for its exquisite pieces but for its unwavering commitment to the customer. They've reimagined the entire process, putting you, the customer, at the forefront. Gone are the days of endless browsing and uncertainty. With Plank+Beam, you're in control, choosing pieces that resonate with your style, all at your own pace. It's a refreshing take on furniture shopping, where your needs and preferences take center stage.
But it's not just about selection; it's about getting your chosen pieces to you with minimal fuss. Plank+Beam has revolutionized the shipping process, ensuring that from the moment you click 'buy' to the moment your furniture graces your space, the journey is smooth and swift. Compact packaging, fast deliveries, and a commitment to getting it right the first time mean you spend less time waiting and more time enjoying your new pieces.
And if ever you're in a quandary, wondering which piece would best suit your space, Plank+Beam's US-based Expert Team is just a chat away. These folks live and breathe furniture, ready to guide you, offer suggestions, and ensure that your Plank+Beam experience is nothing short of exceptional. It's not just about selling furniture; it's about building relationships, one happy customer at a time.
In the quest for furniture that truly transforms your dining experience, Plank+Beam emerges as the clear choice. Delve into their curated collections and witness firsthand the fusion of artistry and engineering. Let each piece not just adorn your space, but also narrate tales of impeccable craftsmanship. Because with Plank+Beam, it's not just about furniture—it's about creating moments, memories, and milestones. With Plank+Beam, you're choosing timeless elegance. Dive in and redefine your dining narrative. Click here to explore more.
Sometimes anger is hiding something bigger than a fleeting emotion.
Anger is such a weird emotion and it's totally not anger's fault. It's just existing for valid reasons but shows up when we feel like it shouldn't. The thing with anger is that in many cases it acts as a coat for an underlying emotion hiding that for some reason or another isn't ready to be revealed.
But sometimes anger is hiding something bigger than a fleeting emotion. Emma McAdam, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and host of the YouTube channel, Therapy in a Nutshell, posted a video explaining how anger and irritability can actually be a symptom of depression.
The video really breaks down how the media portrays depression versus some of the lesser known symptoms of depression. When people think of depression, they often imagine someone that's extremely sad all the time and struggling to do basic skills. But depression can show up hidden behind other symptoms like irritability, insomnia, loss of appetite, and lack of focus.
"Depression isn't just feeling sad. It's a whole body experience that can impact every aspect of your life," McAdam says.
The therapist points to research that shows that rage or anger is reported by 30% to 40% of people as part of their depressive symptoms. With one researcher even going as far as calling the anger people feel with their depression as anger attacks. One of the reasons McAdam lists for anger showing up in people with depression is externalization.
"Some people externalize these feelings, so instead of pointing their pain inward they project it outward onto other people and situations, McAdam reveals. "It can feel really comforting to blame others for your pain."
"So when depression shows up as anger or irritability, it's often because the person is grappling with these feelings of despair or worthlessness, and the way they manage these feelings is through hostility or aggression," she adds later.
Watch the video below to learn more:
Here’s what people facing food insecurity want you to know about solving the hunger problem in America
Even though America is the world’s wealthiest nation, about 1 in 6 of our neighbors turned to food banks and community programs in order to feed themselves and their families last year. Think about it: More than 9 million children faced hunger in 2021 (1 in 8 children).
In order to solve a problem, we must first understand it. Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, released its second annual Elevating Voices: Insights Report and turned to the experts—people experiencing hunger—to find out how this issue can be solved once and for all.
Here are the four most important things people facing hunger want you to know.
Hunger is still an urgent crisis despite signs of economic recovery. In the months following the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, headlines report that the nation’s economic health is bouncing back after years of hardship. However, a big chunk of our population is experiencing a different reality. Recovery has been uneven nationwide, and grocery prices are still higher than normal despite easing supply chain issues. With the end of the federal support offered throughout the pandemic, child poverty rates have shot up, and families like Donnette McManus’ are feeling the squeeze.
“Even though you have your list, you have your budget, things are changing so quickly. Your salary can’t keep up. So, you get to the store with the same exact list, the same 10 items can cost you 50% more,” said McManus, who lives in Massachusetts.
Feeding America Insights Report
People facing hunger say that ending food insecurity is about more than just food. Ending hunger may sound like a simple task: make sure everyone, regardless of who they are and where they live, has access to the food they need. However, as neighbor-advocate Jennifer Estrada of Wisconsin pointed out, the reality is a bit more complex, especially considering that hunger is only a symptom of bigger economic challenges.
“As much as you work, the system is set up for you to continue in a cycle of food insecurity,” said Estrada. “Your whole check goes to a rent payment if you’re not fortunate enough to own a house, with nothing leftover. But you get kicked off if you make $2 more. There needs to be some security, there needs to be a revamping of the whole system ... It seems like instead of creating less barriers to help the families in our community, it seems like policies and procedures continue to make more barriers.”
One of the biggest takeaways from the 2023Insights Report is that housing is unaffordable. Working 40+ hours a week still isn’t enough to get by for many folks. Stopping hunger in its tracks is as much about strengthening economic well-being as it is about providing equitable access to enough nourishing food.
Hunger is an issue that intersects with more than what we put on our plates. Hunger strikes without discrimination, affecting anyone, anywhere, at any time. Millions of people in the U.S. are just one job loss, missed paycheck, or medical emergency away from experiencing food insecurity. Due to a long history of racism, discrimination, and oppression in our country, hunger impacts some communities more than others, including communities of color and communities in rural areas.
While the impact of hunger is widespread, people facing it note that the stigma associated with it can strip people of their dignity or deter them from accessing the food assistance programs they’re eligible for and need. There are also inequitable systems in place that do not work for everyone.
“Your basic clerk at your local DHS [Department of Human Services] office is only employed to input information and output information back to you. A lot of times, you feel like you’re not even a human. You’re just a number to them. And if I’m just going to be a number to you, I have a mental meltdown,” said Kimberly Harris, a resident of Washington, D.C.
Feeding America Insights Report
Ending food insecurity requires a catalyzing movement. While hunger remains a widespread and persistent problem, our country already has the tools to eradicate it forever—they just need to be utilized. Most people facing hunger said that federal and local governments should treat hunger as an urgent crisis—signaling that it will take all of us to bring hunger to a halt.
So how can you take action right now? Do your part and visit FeedingAmerica.org/ElevatingVoices to read the 2023 Elevating Voices: Insights Report and sign a petition to encourage Congress to pass legislation that will help ensure no one in America goes hungry. Let’s all pitch in to make the wealthiest nation become the happiest and most prosperous—for all.