Access to Healthy Food is a Basic Human Right

smallboywithtoyA critical component to a healthy life is nutrition. From birth, the intake of vital nutrients is essential to the growth and development of a healthy individual. Good nutrition, particularly in the first three years of life, is important in establishing and maintaining a good foundation that has implications on a child’s future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and economic productivity. Unfortunately, food insecurity is an obstacle that threatens that critical foundation.

In the United States, more than one out of five children lives in a household with food insecurity, which means they do not always know where they will find their next meal. In Western North Carolina, this number increases to one out of four children.

According to the 2014 Map the Meal Gap data, approximately 108,000 people in Western North Carolina don’t have consistent access to three square meals a day. Those people are among us every day, whether we are aware of it or not. People facing hunger are often our co-workers, neighbors, and classmates.

With the support of our partners, volunteers, and donors, MANNA will continue to connect the food industry and donors with our neighbors in need. We will also continue to advocate for a stronger nutrition safety net and help people utilize the programs that can help feed families during tough times.