Why is Food Dignity important?
Unfortunately, 59% of households with food insecurity participated in at least 1 of the 3 major federal food assistance programs (SNAP, School Feeding Programs, WIC). Most people do not reach out for help during a temporary hardship or difficult time for a variety of reasons. Many people do not know about the programs or if they qualify for the programs. Some people do not know how to apply for the programs. As mentioned, stigma and shame play a major role as well.
Food dignity busts through the barriers associated with healthy food access. It shapes food empathy in our culture so that people who need help are supported, honored, validated, and respected during a difficult time. Misconceptions based on perceptions and privileges become the past. Food Dignity begins with us- our mindsets and ability to create trust.
Everyone is in a powerful position to positively influence the health and wellness of your patients, employees, clients, and community. Together, we can put improve the health of our community and improve access to healthy food. A cultural shift to normalize and dignify food healthy food access relies on the conscious and intentional action to energize others. To create a mindset shift, we must change the current conversation around hunger and food insecurity.