Food Security in a Broken System

Originally posted on the Pursue blog.

AJWS alumna and Pursuer Sara Hahn is currently participating in the 6th Annual UNESCO Intergenerational Human Rights Forum at the University of Connecticut. Sara wrote about an exercise on food security that took place during the Forum:

“I was given the role of a single father raising three children, who has only $7 a day left over after paying for rent, utilities, a car, etc. I was ineligible for SNAP, and the social services office was always either closed or unhelpful. But I was one of the lucky ones: others were undocumented, and thus they could not even attempt to access social services for fear of deportation. Snagged in the bureaucracy, hardly any of us were able to afford food that was sufficiently nutritious and substantive enough to feed our families.

The lesson was powerful on several levels. It helped all of us empathize with the immense difficulty of hunger, and to better understand the tangled web of social services. But it also struck me on a more personal level. In a few weeks, I begin graduate school to be a social worker.  But do I really want to enter a field of work where I become the face of a bureaucratic, unhelpful governmental program? Can I really be effective if the system is broken? “

Read Sara’s full post on the Forum’s blog.