Eatocracy: Food Provision Family
One of the mandates that HOPE House holds as vital is its determination to help fight the stigmas that often accompany poverty. Many people, when they hear the words “poor”, “poverty”, “low-income” or “impoverished”, have pre-conceived notions about the people who live with these labels (labels we put on them); notions which can quickly lead to stereotyping and judgment.
The reality is that poverty wears many faces and is caused by many reasons—we cannot be deterministic when we are talking about those who live in poverty. There is no set pattern, no blanket terminology or behavior, no easy categorization or solution. We cannot act like there is, nor can we interact with people living in poverty based on our own incorrect presumptions or presuppositions.
So when we found this amazing article from Eatocracy, we had to share it. It’s one woman’s story about how she adjusted from being “middle-class” to being “food insecure” and what it is like to live with food insecurity, especially when you’re feeding a family. While the article focuses on how to feed a family from a Food Bank this woman, Maris Miller, does a great job of shattering many of the stereotypes we at HOPE House often come across.
More than just and emotional and challenging read, it is filled with tips to adjust to food insecurity. One of the most interesting things Marisa shared was when asked how crucial is it to know/learn how to cook. This is her response:
It’s everything in this fight against hunger. You cannot sustain good health on fake food. Even if it’s only part of your diet, you must have the nutrients your brain needs or you are the battle-wounded.
The thing that we forget while we’re denigrating other people’s poor life choices, is that not everyone knows how or is physically able to get up, let alone shop for and prepare meals.
It doesn’t have to be fancy, or take more than a few minutes, but you have to kick yourself in the butt and remember that it might be easier in the short haul to open a package of something but the long term effects of poor nutrition start compounding and then it is that much harder to get motivated to feed your family the right things…Being able to nourish yourself allows you to be able to nourish others.
Education is such a vital piece to helping people take control over their diet and personal circumstances, and when not present, the number one reason people rely on pre-packaged, less-nutritious food. People don’t eat unhealthy because they want to—but because they simply don’t know how to cook.
It’s why HOPE House is so dedicated to our monthly Edu-Kitchen program; teaching people how to cook nutritiously and economically. We provide the tangible skills in the kitchen and then the practical food in our Food Market so that individuals can access and eat healthy food. To check out more about this program you can click here.
Please check out the whole article, all you have to do is click on Eatocracy above. (While reading keep in mind that this article was published in the United States where some institutions are different. Please also note that the Food Bank this woman uses is a choice-based food bank, similar to HOPE House)