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See Yourself Hungry

November 7, 2019 | Blog, Media Center

In the heartland, hunger is never expected to be a real problem. It is, and more than 300,000 Iowans struggle with food insecurity. Friends, family or neighbors can go hungry without notice. Food Bank of Iowa, an organization actively working against hunger in the state, wants to educate Iowans on the reality of food insecurity through a new awareness campaign that asks them to see themselves hungry.

Food insecurity is a complex issue. For those Iowans who have never experienced it, it can be difficult to understand. Food insecurity occurs when a person does not have regular, reliable access to enough nutritious food to live a normal life. It takes many different forms—including uncertainty about how to afford one’s next meal or not being able to afford fresh food. 

Because food insecurity is complicated, it is easy for the average Iowan to distance themselves from hunger. Unfortunately, it is often closer than many Iowans think. Unexpected job loss, a medical emergency or any other expensive, unanticipated event can bring on food insecurity. In their new public service announcement, Food Bank of Iowa encourages viewers to understand how hunger could affect the people they know—or even their families.

“We don’t want anyone to go hungry, but unfortunately it’s a reality for many of our neighbors. With this campaign, we’re hoping to raise awareness of how common food insecurity is in Iowa and create empathy for those who struggle with hunger,” said Michelle Book, CEO and president of Food Bank of Iowa. 

See Yourself Hungry features three scenarios where people see themselves in a different light—as food insecure, looking for help. One woman sees herself in line at a meal site. Another sees herself on the side of the street, asking for money to feed her children. Finally, a man sees himself outside a restaurant, looking through the trash for something to eat. Each scene indicates what Food Bank of Iowa wants the public to know: Food insecurity is closer than you think. To learn more, please watch the PSA above.

Across 55 counties in the state, Food Bank of Iowa serves more than 175,000 Iowans who struggle with hunger. For each dollar donated, the organization can create up to four meals for Iowa families, children and seniors who don’t have enough to eat.