What is hunger? And, who is experiencing it?
Hunger is a condition in which people do not get enough food to provide the nutrients for fully productive, active lives. Hunger, food insecurity, and poverty are all inextricably linked in our community and we are living in times where it is getting harder and harder for families to make ends meet.
In Cook County, 1 in 6 people - more than 860,000 men, women and children - are food insecure. They don't know when or where they will receive their next meal. Food insecurity affects communities all across the Chicago area, from the Indiana border to the northwest suburbs.
Many people are finding themselves skipping meals or cutting back on the quality or quantity of food they purchase for themselves and their families. Many families also have to make the difficult choice of choosing to buy food or pay for housing or medicine.
A study released in 2010 found that 47 percent of households that the Greater Chicago Food Depository serves have had to make the choice between buying food and paying for utilities. The study also found that 44 percent of households had to choose between paying for food and paying for housing. Additionally, 28 percent of the households served have also had to make the choice between buying food and paying for healthcare.
With this brief, interactive module you can walk in someone else’s shoes and experience what it is like to struggle with hunger. In this program, you will take on the role of a low-income person living in Cook County. Your challenge? To manage your resources and get enough food to feed you and your family—at a simulated grocery store, soup kitchen or SNAP (Food Stamp) office.