Today, Cleveland is being heralded as one of our nation’s best food cities. However, one out of three Clevelanders cannot afford the meals they need to feed themselves or their families. In the middle of an economic resurgence some of our neighbors have been left out.
When you can’t find or afford the nutrition you need, everything in your life suffers. The impact is most profoundly seen in our children. In the short term, a hungry child can’t focus. She finds it difficult to learn, engage and even play.
Long term, hunger will stunt her development and shortchange her mind, health and potential as an adult. Poor diet could contribute to obesity, diabetes, heart conditions, depression, developmental issues and more. She may become trapped in a cycle of poverty that could last for generations.
The result? If a city is only as strong as its people, then we all suffer. We miss out on her contribution as an active member of our community, and feel the burden of the cost of her care as a compounding weight to our society.
No society has ever prospered when its people are divided between deep poverty and excessive wealth. It’s a reality the keeps Cleveland from being truly great.
The mission of the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland is to reduce hunger in our community by providing food and linkages to other vital services for hungry people, especially children and families, by actively participating in a coordinated response to people in need.
By far, the most common way in which we execute our mission is by putting food into the hands of the hungry. Everyone has a place at our table as we strive to nourish Cleveland, and we do so by nourishing Clevelanders.