Community Service Center

Educate Yourself! - Hunger & Nutrition

Hunger is the physiological drive to find and eat food. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hunger is the world's major health risk. Globally, one in three people suffer from chronic hunger, which is a result of a lack of food security.

Food security is when people do not have access at all times to nutritionally adequate food. There are three dimensions to food insecurity: a lack of (1) purchasing power (lack of money or resources), (2) accessibility (ability to get food), and (3) availability (amount of food).

Local

  • According to the "2005 Touched by Hunger Report" produced by the California Food Policy Advocates, 102,000 persons in Ventura County live in households reporting Hunger or Food Insecurity.
  • The same report also indicated that 43,403 kids in Ventura County are eligible for free/reduced price school breakfast and 27,505 of those eligible are not getting the free/reduced price breakfast.

Domestic

  • The average percent of food insecure households in the United States between 2002-2004 was 11.4% and the average % of households food insecure with hunger was 3.6%.

Visit http://www.frac.org/html/hunger_in_the_us/hunger_index.html for more information on hunger in the United States.

  • The Institute of Medicine has estimated the number of homeless children in the United States to be approximately 100,000 each night. Almost half of these children are younger than six years of age. Recent studies have found that a poor diet in early childhood has implications for long-term health and cognitive development.

    Homeless children suffer several medical problems due to undernutrition, including chronic and recurring physical ailments, and higher rates of fever, cough, colds, diarrhea, and obesity. In addition, a greater incidence of infections, fatigue, headaches, and anemia, as well as impaired cognitive development and visual motor integration, has been documented in homeless children.

For more information on hunger and nutrition in the United States vist http://www.faqs.org/nutrition/Hea-Irr/Homelessness.html.

International

  • Worldwide, 840 million people live with chronic hunger and 8.8 million people die of hunger-related causes each year according to the Global Hunger Alliance.
  • The Global Hunger Alliance also stated that most hunger deaths are due to chronic malnutrition caused by inequitable distribution and inefficient use of existing food resources.
  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people, or one in eight people in the world, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries, representing 15 percent of the population of developing counties. There are 16 million people undernourished in developed countries.

Visit  http://www.actionagainsthunger.org/ or http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/i3027e/i3027e00.htm for more information on global poverty.

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