Nancy Roman is interviewed on Viewpoint by NBC 4 anchor Jim Handy about solutions to hunger in the region. Roman is joined by Mike Curtin, CEO of DC Central Kitchen, and Pastor Michael Bell with Allen Chapel AME.
We are facing an urban hunger crisis in the region. We know because we confront it here in urban Washington, DC and in some areas that surround us in Maryland and Northern Virginia.
In the nation’s capital, we have 31,000 children at risk of hunger – 1 in 3. According to a recent Feeding America study, Washington, DC is second in the nation in child hunger, slightly behind New Mexico.
We understand that solving hunger is intimately related to so many important social developments. If you are hungry, you cannot learn. If you are hungry, your immune system does not develop fully. If you are hungry, you have trouble holding down a job. If you are elderly and hungry, your opportunity for a long life is shortened.
Solving hunger is fundamental to the most basic issues we hope to achieve as an advanced society.
What is the Capital Area Food Bank doing to solve the hunger problem?
We want to think about the food that we distribute and its relationship to nutrition and diet-related disease such as diabetes and high blood pressure. We want to make sure that The Capital Area Food Bank supports nutritious food and healthy eating. That will mean teaching about how to shop smarter on fewer dollars.
It will mean establishing a food growing capacity program, or an urban or suburban garden to produce enough vegetables to feed a family during the growing season. It will mean collaborating with those who are working on health job training and other issues that that contribute to hunger. It will mean working with area businesses to help us address the challenges we face in helping the hungry.
We want to drive a conversation about how to shorten the lines of those waiting for the next meal, even as we work hard to meet the hunger needs of those in line.
I feel privileged to have a chance to head an organization that is leading the hunger relief movement in our region – the Capital Area Food Bank.
Together, we can solve hunger.