I Give a Cup about the issue of hunger #GiveACup

Peet’s Coffee are introducing their first go at single-cup coffees for the coffee makers like Keurig that have taken the world by storm. Their marketing strategy is backed by the slogan “Peet’s Gives a Cup” which has prompted a pretty exciting internet-based social sampling experiment. This week they are asking readers if you “Give A Cup” about ZOMBIES! And yes. Yes, I do. But I wanted to write a post about something a little bit more real and important to me that I really “Give A Cup” about. You, too, can participate and vote online at doyougiveacup.com!

Now, my family didn’t grow up wealthy, but I never had to worry about where my next meal would come from or if we would have enough for each family member. Sadly I know this is a worry for many families here in the United States. I’m reminded of the scene in the beginning of the Mickey Mouse version of Jack and the Beanstalk when Donald, Goofy and Mickey are sharing one slice of bread and one bean for dinner. Donald goes batty and takes the axe out to their farm cow Bessie, he has a look in his eyes that clearly shows he’s reached rock bottom. My kids watch that 30-minute movie now and they have no concept of how real that scenario is for people today.

Food insecurity is a real issue and it is one which I think gets downplayed by much of society.  According to Feeding America, “16.7 million children lived in food insecure households in 2011” which means those children did not know on any given day whether or not they would have a meal to eat. Nearly 14 million children are estimated to be served by Feeding America, over 3 million of which are ages 5 and under. This means there are still 2.7 million children not being reached by this program.

I work for the University of Delaware, specially for the College of Agriculture & Natural Resources and we do a lot with our local Food Bank to increase the amount of food donated to our community. There is a Community Garden which was built and planted for the purpose of sharing goods with local residents in need. Food deprivation is a real and scary thing and unfortunately it stems out to other severe issues. When children suffer from the lack of this basic need they also tend to suffer in other areas in their life. There is a spiral effect which impacts them during their early years of development and it can be really difficult to rise above that in the end. More people need to be aware of this issue and need to do their part to help out. Even if it means donating one box of macaroni to your local Food Bank.

Image and value provided by our partner, Peet’s