The Face Tells the Story of Hunger
Hunger No More Blog
Volume No. 1, Issue No. 5
By Jared Slinde
A saying used around the Great Plains Food Bank and within the world of food assistance is the “face of hunger.”
There is an ironic element to the saying as there is no single face that can accurately represent hunger. The face of hunger is the child at school, elderly man or woman at the senior citizens center, the family of four struggling to get by and everyone in between.
And with that face comes a story.
The concept came to me earlier in the year and did not take long to gain momentum in my mind. North Dakota is very much a rural state. Like many others, I grew up eight miles from a no-stoplight town with one other home within two miles. In these rural settings, resources can be difficult to come by and at a minimum require significant travel to reach.
For those in rural settings and in need of food assistance, the challenges can be even greater.
So earlier this year I set out into rural communities looking for the face of hunger and last week we launched the first video in a series from the Great Plains Food Bank. The series, entitled “Hunger in Rural North Dakota,” looks to tell the stories and capture the struggles of food insecurity throughout the state.
We found the face of hunger and no two faces were the same.
It was the face on an elder member of a small community too proud to seek help only to have the local food pantry bring a food basket ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday and see the tears well up in her eyes.
It’s the man only able to work part-time due to his commitment to care for his disabled wife and kids at home and hearing the difficult time he would have without food assistance provided.
A food pantry volunteer becoming emotional seeing a young woman enter with two small children as it reminded her of when she was forced to do the same thing earlier in life.
A woman facing consistent cancer diagnosis and the struggles of medical bills and traveling for treatments left her little resources for food.
It was a father not able to work due to injury and having used up all their savings the family turned to the food pantry. His emotion upon exiting said 1,000 words.
You can find these stories and more in the video below. They are the stories and the faces of hunger in rural North Dakota.
Continue to follow the Great Plains Food Bank for the next part in the video series, “Hunger in Rural North Dakota.”
(Jared Slinde serves as communications manager with the Great Plains Food Bank)