Food Justice and Food Insecurity
Food insecurity has always been facing the world for many years and it entails a social injustice problem, which many people are working hard to eradicate (Hartman, 2013). Some have shown a desire to continue towards the programs of anti-hunger/food security, assistance programs, emergency efforts, assistance programs to help the poor children and women (Darling et. al 2017). A huge number of people have been left to languish in extreme poverty shows that the country is governed badly since true civilization should be measured with the way the decent provisions are made to the poor people.
The United States is the world’s affluent country yet it still has a huge population of underprovided and malnourished people (Kish, 2017). Such has led to different assertion claiming that the disadvantaged individuals have been exploiting taxpayers in the 1970s. The assertion is against the anti-liberal, anti-big government and antisocialism platforms. Housing, welfare, food, and other programs were eliminated or cut. The arguments against socialism, big government, and liberal policies and viewpoints have grown in recent years. To address the food insecurity become hard in an environment where facts do not matter, but perceived as political arguments instead of the reality on the ground that deserves a meaningful and thoughtful response (Hartman, 2013). People who are convinced that people who received pantries are burdening the public are part of the reason why the state of food injustice is severe in the country.
The lack of economic support from the government leads to the increasing inequality in the country. The government will always squeeze its subjects during the economic distress and such increases the marginalized people vulnerability; as it also stresses the nonprofit organization that is trying to fill the gap left by the for-profit and government (Darling et. al 2017). The elected officials in the country are reasonable from reality assessment, developing needed policies, and community instead of bowing to the slogans that are convenient politically and ignore the poor should be the norm (Hartman, 2013). Providing decent provision in form of shelter, food, among other necessities is not an embrace of socialism that needs bankruptcy and tax increases of a country.
Despite the altruistic and positive tensions of the food security, some practitioners and researches claim that such practices fail to provide the needed sustainable or radical approval to the change in the food system (Payne-Sturges, 2018). For instance when the emergency food provision when longitudinally viewed, it is clear that most food aids institutions started during recession or difficult time in the economy and are not designed to exist for long (Lombe et al 2016). Nonetheless, the system of emergency food has enormously grown since it started in the 1900s.
Why Christians have a duty to contribute towards Food security
Different analysts claim that dependence on this assistance is meant to work against the community and household self-reliance as the development of the food insecurity sustainable systemic solutions. Faith communities have always contributed towards this aid structure since it started and the national government has tried to encourage the efforts (Webster, 2013). Such was demonstrated by the office of the faith-based community initiative by George W Bush administration and abolition of any federal barriers to actions of civil society organization in addressing hunger.
Christians mostly rich people with a surplus after they have satisfied their needs would rather pray for the hungry and sick instead of helping them—yet their know that without food they will have lives worth not living and even perish. The Christian tradition, for a person to receive real salvation, they have helped the poor in the society (Webster, 2013). Jesus said that ‘if you want to be perfect, sell your possessions, and give to the poor’. He further said that it is easy for a camel to go through needs eye than a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. He also the people that they need to always invite the poor at the time of giving feasts and even praised the Good Samaritan who tried to help the poor. Additionally, Jesus claimed that God will save people who save the poor and hungry, give drinks to those who are thirsty and clothe those without clothes who are committed to saving the poor.
The early Christians heeded to the advice of Jesus. Paul, for instance, sent a letter to Corinthian claiming one surplus at the moment need to should always apply their needs and the remaining need to serve the poor (Webster, 2013). Also, in the acts of apostles, Jerusalem members of the Christian community sold their possessions and shared them with need people they knew that that sharing with the poor is not always a charity, but duty to give poor people their rights.
An influential jurist and philosopher, Aquinas, in the 1225-1274 claimed that properly seeking it is not theft to take one’s property in case of attending to an extreme need since what supports one life automatically become shy property by the need’s reason. Aquinas said further that what one has in the superabundance is a natural right owed to the poor people (Webster, 2013). He said that the bread that one withholds is the property of the poor; the clothing that one is hutting away belongs to the naked, the money that is buried in the earth is the freedom and redemption of the penniless.
The advocate of food security is promoting a comprehensive approach of the food insecurity, which is creating a system where every community resident obtains cultural acceptable, safe, and adequate nutritious diet through a system of sustainable food, which maximizes social justice and community self-reliance (Webster, 2013). Such outline the Community Food Security concept, a frame that is gaining support among people who are seeking to bring more systemic change. The faith-based programs may serve a sacramental function for those seeing such as a symbolic and military response to the God’s command. In the US, the efforts of hunger relief are perceived generally as a Christian denomination province, but giving such support is critical to different religious systems too. The empowerment of programs explicitly aims at addressing conditions, which result in hunger. Such initiatives always embrace an approach of community development seeking to help food insure people by giving them healthcare, job training, and others.
The proponents of the empowerment programs accept that the use of the functional emergency safety system but claiming that the assistance might be bad when it is perceived as the only available resource (Hartman, 2013). The country faces challenges when making equitable, effective, and sustainable food systems a goal; and the Christian based communities represent a critical community that should hugely contribute towards the food security. Apart from their presence in all jurisdictions of the country, Christian organizations have critical assets— like greens space building, kitchen facilities, common gas, volunteer base. Congregations can be developed and nurtured in creating the social capital which may contribute directly to the encouraging the food security in the population they are serving (Webster, 2013). Most Christian communities need support, however, when helping them it is critical to find out how they help the needy.
There are many ways actions of the church can lead to the food security from hungry, congregations may support the poor farmers provide space for gardening, provide better cooking lessons for those who can sue such skills in creating their self-employment (Canter, Roberts & Davis, 2017). When doing so the church members should know that emergency programs are necessary but they do not necessarily lead to the member’s empowerment (Webster, 2013). What is critical is the shared integrity of justice creed to encourage a move away from the support that of emergency programs and move towards increased aid that will contribute towards the empowerment-oriented initiatives.
In sum, the link between Christian faith and food has led to emergency support during the widespread hunger and economic hardship. However, these initiatives are not building food among the individual they are serving. The church is going to continue offering temporary help programs to make sure that an individual is fed, but eliminating or reducing institutional food emergency and fully replacing it with the programs that can address food insecurity; and this needs to be the end goal of church members. Christian is required by God to feed the hungry, but they want to embrace actions that lead to enhanced opportunities for justice for the assisted lot. The churches that provide food programs that respect dignity equality, community sustainability as the response to the imperative of Christian faith and individual needs in communities they are serving.
Canter, K. S., Roberts, M. C., & Davis, A. M. (2017). The role of health behaviors and food insecurity in predicting fruit and vegetable intake in low-income children. Children’s Health Care, 46(2), 131-150.
Darling, K. E., Fahrenkamp, A. J., Wilson, S. M., D’Auria, A. L., & Sato, A. F. (2017). Physical and mental health outcomes associated with prior food insecurity among young adults. Journal of health psychology, 22(5), 572-581.
Hartman, L. M. (2013). Seeking food justice. Interpretation, 67(4), 396-409.
Kish, Z. (2017). The reproach of hunger: food, justice, and money in the twenty-first century.
Lombe, M., Nebbitt, V. E., Sinha, A., & Reynolds, A. (2016). Examining effects of food insecurity and food choices on health outcomes in households in poverty. Social work in health care, 55(6), 440-460.
Payne-Sturges, D. C., Tjaden, A., Caldeira, K. M., Vincent, K. B., & Arria, A. M. (2018). Student hunger on campus: food insecurity among college students and implications for academic institutions. American Journal of Health Promotion, 32(2), 349-354.
Webster, J. S. (2013). That One Might Not Fall: A New Testament Theology of Food. Interpretation, 67(4), 363-373.