Tracker Pixel for Entry

Rethinking hunger in our state

by Sabrina Hornung | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | Editorial | December 20th, 2017

Hunger has no specific face. According to feedingamerica.org: “41 million people struggle with hunger in the United States, including 13 million children. In 2015, 5.4 million seniors struggled to afford enough to eat.”

Over half (59%) of food-insecure homes participate in federally funded food assistance programs, whether they be food stamps, WIC, or school lunch programs. Another heartbreaking fact is that households with children are more likely to be hungry than those without.

Malnutrition affects children in a multitude of ways. It impairs their cognitive, social, physical and behavioral development. If you think that that’s not your problem, remember that this generation is the future, whether you like it or not. According to hungerfreend.org, our state ranks lowest in the nation in childhood food insecurity, although there are still 16,130 children who are hungry.

We had the opportunity to speak with Martha Holte of the Community Action Partnership of North Dakota for one of our features. She mentioned that “One of the most surprising things about hunger in North Dakota is that roughly 90 percent of our state’s land is used for agriculture and farming, yet one in 12 people struggle with hunger. Compared to other states, that is actually pretty low, but it is still startling when you grasp just how much of our nation’s food is grown or raised right here in North Dakota, and that we are still affected by food insecurity.

Take a moment and try to process that concept. I still can’t process it.

It’s ironic that living in a state that thrives from agriculture, that part of our population can be surrounded by food and still go hungry. According to hungerfreend.org, “8.8 percent, or about 28,160 of North Dakota’s households, did not have enough food for a healthy and active lifestyle from the period of 2014-2016. This is similar to the rate in 2012-2014, but higher than the rate 10 years ago.”

We’re lucky to have such organizations such as Sportsmen Against Hunger and The Hunger Free ND Garden Project. Yes, these programs are seasonal but fresh food is hard to come by in food donations and every gardener can relate to a bountiful harvest.

When it was still independently owned, my hometown paper, The Jamestown Sun, used to dole out “Bravos and Buffalo Chips” in regard to singing praise or shaming local news briefs. I’ve been trying to think of an equivalent, but I’ll just have to borrow a couple of “bravos” in appreciation of the aforementioned organizations. It warms our hearts to see North Dakotans helping out their fellow North Dakotans.

Again, according to hungerfreend.org Benson, Cass, Grand Forks, Rolette, and Sioux counties have the highest rates of food insecurity.

Parts of North Dakota have been referred to as food deserts. The USDA defines a food desert as: “Parts of the country vapid of fresh fruit, vegetables, and other healthful whole foods, usually found in impoverished areas. This is largely due to a lack of grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and healthy food providers.” When that term, food deserts, is used, many tend to associate it with overpopulated urban areas, but that’s obviously not the case here in our lovely state.

We all know how easy it is to get wrapped up in the hectic holiday season. It’s easy to get caught up in your holiday shopping list and overindulge in your holiday feasting. I know we certainly do--and that’s the reason we have a semiannual cover on homelessness and hunger. It may be easier said than done, but we need to keep the less fortunate in our consciousness.

Is it cliché to tell our readers to count their blessings? Maybe, but it’s still relevant. We’re not going to stand at the pulpit and tell you who or what the reason for the season is, but another catchy Christmas catchphrase is, “It’s better to give than to receive.”

We know not everyone can afford monetary donations but a spare moment is worth its weight in gold. Maybe consider serving lunch as a volunteer at Churches United, or see if there are volunteer opportunities at Lutheran Social Services or the Salvation Army. Heck, maybe you can start a new tradition of helping those in need and receiving the general satisfaction of a deed well done.

Happy Holidays, dear Reader readers!

Recently in:

FARGO – On Sunday, September 23, 2018 at 5:33 a.m., Fargo Police officers responded to medical assist at the McDonalds located at 905 Main Avenue. Once on scene, officers located a male, in his twenties, laying in the parking…

by Ryan Jankeryanjanke@hpr1.comPhoto by Anne BradleyValkyries of the Valley will invade the North Dakota Apartment Wrestling Federation (NDAWF) for Brawl-esque, a variety show that will be held at Prairie Brothers Brewing Company…

Best Bets

Spirit Talk

by HPR Staff

Thursday, September 27, 7-9 p.m.Homewood Suites by Hilton Fargo, 2021 16th St N., FargoGet in touch with the other side! Sunny Dawn Johnston will help you reach the spirit world in this two-hour, eye-opening event. This is a group…

It’s bad enough when his word versus her word regarding sexual assault gets out in a high school hallway, but can you imagine it spreading throughout the national news media? Imagine reliving those events every time you turn on…

We failed to educate the players of “flag” footballI passed all of the American history courses in Morrison County District 54, Little Falls High School, and Moorhead State Teachers College, but I’m often appalled about what…

FARGO - A collection of memories from High Plains Reader's annual Cocktail Showdown. Participants were judged on creativity, flavor, and presentation; and this year we added a new category. Like years before, each establishment was…

by Ryan Jankeryanjanke@hpr1.comAs I sat across from my wife at Himalayan Yak Tuesday evening, it dawned on me that time had slowed down. So often when we go out to eat, we are in a hurry. We get anxious when we aren’t greeted…

Music

Back in the saddle

by Sabrina Hornung

After a long hiatus members of Teenage Lobotomy reunited for the first time in 22 years at Center Fest in Robinson North Dakota this summer. With influences such as Husker Du and the Circle Jerks their high energy immediately had…

Director Craig William Macneill speculates on the infamous legend surrounding Massachusetts murder suspect Lizzie Borden in “Lizzie,” a long-germinating labor of love for star Chloe Sevigny. Working from a screenplay by Bryce…

It may be cliche to say the apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree, but when wet plate artist Shane Balkowitsch found out that his 15-year-old daughter Abby Balkowitsch was following in his photography footsteps, he was…

by Stella Mehlhoffstellamehlhoff@gmail.com“Our mission is to invigorate civic conversation through intimate and transformative storytelling.” This statement posted on Theatre B’s website and tacked to their studio wall in…

In the approximately three years I’ve been writing for the High Plains Reader it seems I’ve always circled back to comedian Adam Quesnell. First, I wrote about his farewell show before he set out from Fargo and the comedy…

When walking into the new space on 1st Ave N that now houses Drekker brewing, one can only say, “Wow.” The majesty of the interior is unprecedented for a brewery in the region and provides a feeling of awe and astonishment.…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

By Melissa Martinmelissamartincounselor@live.comThink back to one of your worst small decisions. Then answer the following questions:How did you make the decision?What happened after the decision?When did you know it was the worst…

by Andrew Alexis Varvelmr.a.alexis.varvel@gmail.com“If a piece of equipment purchased in the 1920s is kept up and can guarantee, at present, an operable rate close to 100 percent and if it can bear the production burden placed on…