I never thought I would have to march for science. I’m so shocked by this fact that I have temporarily been struck speechless.
Many of you can attest to the fact that I returned from my visit to Cornell University’s PCCW Feeding the World Sustainably conference fired up to understand more about how many people are food insecure. I decided to start right here in my own Floridian backyard.
It was when I met Paco Velez, CEO of Feeding South Florida that I learned just why their warehouse was stacked floor to ceiling with banana boxes. Bananas are the #1 selling item in grocery stores, which means there are lots of empty banana boxes donated to food banks to reuse.
Diana Aviv fed 46 million people last year. I nearly fell over to hear that almost 15% of our population is food insecure. This is the United States! We are the richest country in the world, but it’s true. We are a country filled with people who cannot reliably feed themselves nor their children.
Diana is the CEO of Feeding America and her organization keeps food on the shelves in 60,000 food pantries across the U.S. To put that in perspective, I looked up the number of CVS pharmacies: 9,600. What about the number of McDonald’s? They seem to be everywhere, but there are only 14,100 or so. Hunger is everywhere, in every state, in every county, in every congressional district.
Tonight I met parents with the saddest of stories to tell. They are the parents of a teenager whose name is so well-known. It’s Trayvon Martin. To me that name – Trayvon – is a symbol, of injustice, unfairness, and racism. But to Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton, he was their son. A real boy who was really killed because of the color of his skin.