“When we’re talking about poverty, what we’re really talking about is hunger and malnutrition.” – Yolo County Supervisor Don Saylor
By Michael Bisch
Former Davis Mayor Robb Davis once again did the community a terrific service by publishing his analysis of various studies and methodologies for determining poverty and food insecurity (posted here Robb Davis article). According to my reading of Robb’s analysis, approximately 14,000 Davis residents and 36,000 residents Countywide are living in poverty, and are struggling with food insecurity as a consequence. Buried in the analysis, however, is the human element. Numbers alone will not move our community to action. Compassion for the stark choices confronting tens of thousands of our neighbors struggling to feed their families is essential. To this end, the conclusion to Robb’s article merits repeating:
“Food security and poverty mirror each other. Poor people are food insecure. Food insecure people are poor. When decisions about expenditures need to be made under severe constraints, food is the most “fungible” of purchases. Rent is required. Gas for the car to get to work cannot be “scrimped” on. Not so with food. When poor people face spending choices, food is foregone for the sake of survival. This seems to be true in Africa and America.
When you read that people are poor, keep in mind that it has real effects on their ability to obtain nutritious food in quantities that most of us take for granted. And when you read that people have low or very low food security, remember that it means that they face choices that most of us do not have to make.
Tens of thousands of our neighbors in Yolo County live in poverty—with food insecurity a part of many of their lives.”
Yolo Food Bank is a primarily privately-funded nonprofit distributing four million pounds of nutritious food throughout Yolo County each year, reaching every community of every size. With an unparalleled capability and capacity to collect, store and distribute this food, Yolo Food Bank provides unique services and opportunities to the region. It has the potential to transform the nutritional paradigm of our communities, thereby reducing poverty, increasing health and education outcomes and enabling social mobility of all kinds. You can support our neighbors who struggle to feed their families by making a gift at http://give.yolofoodbank.org/ or by volunteering at https://yolofoodbank.org/volunteer/
Michael Bisch is the Executive Director of the Yolo Food Bank