Claire Babineaux-Fontenot is the CEO of Feeding America. That is a charity that works to end hunger. It has a network of food banks in the United States. Last year, these food banks provided more than 6 billion meals. TIME’s Eben Shapiro spoke with Babineaux-Fontenot.
What does long-lasting hunger do to the body?
Nothing good. Having no access to nutritious food has so many negative outcomes.
The United States is a wealthy country. Why do we have a problem with food insecurity?
There is no good reason. America has a lot of opportunities. But these opportunities are not equal. We first must admit hunger exists. COVID brought this issue to light. We could not ignore it. We saw all of these people lined up for food.
What is the main problem?
We produce more than enough food for every person in this country. But we throw away too much of it.
How does Feeding America help?
We work with grocers. Rather than letting food spoil, they gift it to us. We also work with restaurants. Food that does not sell is usually wasted. Instead, we match it with people in need. Manufacturers do not sell damaged products. Cereal boxes might be bent. But the food is still perfectly good. We match that with people facing hunger.