Building the Food Equality State
The US, including Wyoming, has large disparities in who tends to be food insecure. For example, in Wyoming and nationally, some of the groups most likely to be unsure they will have enough to eat include Native American families, single moms, our elders, children, and college/university students.
The US has more than enough food for all Americans, so families not having enough to eat is a distribution problem, not a supply problem. Costs of this failure are high! Just for example:
- Food insecurity causes stress and poor diets, leading to chronic illness, estimated at about $4.4 million/year in additional health care costs per county each year, or circa $700 billion nationally.
- We have huge losses to quality of life and, for society, what people could otherwise contribute to our communities. For example, over a third of students at University of Wyoming are food insecure, with half within this group reducing or skipping meals. This is associated with lower grades, higher dropout rates, and lots of anxiety and stress. Effects are even more severe among children and can have lifetime impacts.
For our Wyoming farmers and ranchers, it also means that too many people cannot afford to pay the real costs of good food.
The WFC envisions sustainable local food economies in Wyoming that are diverse, thriving, and equitable. This includes ensuring that everyone in Wyoming can partake in the best foods we produce (from gardens to the grocery store) and that economic livelihoods in the food system are equitably available and can make people a living. (Questions? Contact Christine Porter, the Fairness and Justice Work Group Chair)