Let’s talk about hunger. But not the hunger that you get when you just want something to nibble on to pass the time.
I’m talking about the hunger that claws at the inside walls of your stomach while alien sounds emanate from your mid region. I, myself have felt the pain of the hollow sensation of nothing but water and air being digested through the body. I can tell you it is not a great feeling, and is something no one should have to experience.
Yet plenty of people do. According to Feeding America, 41 million Americans struggle with hunger. It’s even worse outside the U.S., as The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that about 795 million people struggled with chronic hunger from 2014-16.
DoSomething.org reports that 1 in 6 Americans face hunger. In addition, 1 in 5 children are at risk of hunger. Among African Americans and Latinos, the number changes to 1 in 3.
You may ask, why do so many people grapple with this? There are several factors that lead to people having to face hunger. The biggest is poverty. Those in poverty struggle to sustain many of their needs including food, housing and transportation due to their lack of funds.
In our own little bubbles, maybe we don’t see it. But many students face this ordeal and have to balance their hunger with working jobs and taking college courses.
Lucky for us there is a free lunch program offered at Sinclair that anyone can take part in.
Located on the fourth floor of building 13 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays is a brown bag lunch system. Students can walk in from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and receive one of these lunches that consists of a sandwich, a piece of fruit and a granola bar.
Participants have options for their sandwiches, and can choose either a classic PB&J, a turkey and cheese or a chicken salad sandwich.
This small meal gifted inside a brown paper sack can help stave off hunger for those who lack the resources to provide for themselves. To some it may not seem like much but it is better than nothing.
This service is provided by the nutrition and dietary program, and features actual chefs making these lunches for the students of Sinclair.
The struggle for food is a real problem and a daily occurrence for many. There are other resources available to those who need food in the Dayton area, besides the lunches offered on campus.
These include several food banks all over the city of Dayton, such as House of Bread, With God’s Grace Food Pantry and St. Vincent de Paul. In addition, Sinclair houses their own mobile Food Pantry between 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in building 20.
For more information, you can contact Nora Schaefer, professor in the nutrition and dietetics program at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all those who do battle hunger I just want you to know you’re not alone and you should not be ashamed. Life is hard and sometimes opportunities are few. Some of us just don’t have the means or resources to contribute for our own health needs due to the circumstances we’re in.
Yet there are always kind souls willing to help and I urge you to seek them out, wherever you are. Be safe, be kind and be healthy and happy.
Justin A. Baker