If you’ve read some of my other posts, you’d know that I’m a big advocate for healthy eating. Although more than one-third of U.S. adults are considered obese, another startling fact that some of us might not have heard about is the growing percentage of Americans who don’t have enough food. A recent study conducted at our very own Western Oregon University showed that 59% of students surveyed have faced “food insecurity” at some point during the previous year. The research defines food insecurity as having limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe foods, and the ability to acquire such food in acceptable ways.
As much as it saddens me to realize how large of a percentage that is, it doesn’t quite surprise me. Being a college student who pays for tuition (and all the other living costs) on my own, I can understand the difficulties one faces trying to make ends meet. Not to mention the quickly rising costs of….well, everything.
The good news is that there are ways to help or be helped. The study has come out at a great time, because February is the month for the annual Governor’s Food Drive in which state employees fund events all over Oregon to contribute food or make payroll deductions to help reduce hunger. WOU has raised the most pounds-per-employee out of the entire Oregon University system for nine consecutive years! The WOU website has a great FAQ page if you’d like to know more about how you can help. Just $1 in monetary donations buys four pounds of food!
There are so many ways to make a difference. Let’s make a change together! Here’s a list of different ways to help:
- Donate non-perishable foods
- Make a one time monetary donation
- Make a payroll deduction of $12 a month
- Volunteer at your local food bank
- Start your own fundraiser to gather donations, such as a bake sale or silent auction