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The Intersection of Hunger and Health

Getting food on the table on a regular basis is a constant challenge for 1 in 5 New Orleanians. This percentage is even higher for households headed by single women, families with children, members of minority groups, and people located in inner cities. This pressing matter of food insecurity can be looked at as an economic issue, social justice issue, a political issue, and most obviously a health issue.

Hunger and health have an indisputable link; when one lacks consistent access to enough nutritious food, mental and physical health are detrimentally affected. Research has shown that food insecurity is associated with cognitive problems, depression, anxiety, anemia, stress, worse oral health, hypertension, poor sleep, and generally worse outcomes on health exams. Children and seniors

report higher rates of these symptoms. It’s simple: healthy bodies and healthy minds require regular and nourishing meals. When that basic need is not met your body will remind you.

Gladewaves recognizes food insecurity as a major health issue and fights to end hunger every day. Through programs such as the Big Red Box, members of the greater New Orleans community are given access to non-perishable food items. We fill 6 boxes with 50 meals every Tuesday and Thursday; a total of 600 meals weekly. We hope that these barrier-free food destinations alleviate the stress of accessing meals and reduce negative health outcomes.

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