Much of the discussion about health in recent years has focused on new medications and technologies, expanded insurance coverage, and improved quality of care. What also demands attention is a fundamental building block of health that millions of Americans are lacking: food.
When I was a young boy, my father would tell me about his childhood in a small, poor farming village in India. I particularly remember stories about when his five siblings and parents would dilute a handful of grains so they could make enough watery stew to fill each person's bowl. It was not uncommon for them to go to bed hungry. As I grew up, I discovered that hunger was not isolated to small villages halfway across the world. It existed -- and still exists -- at a shocking scale right here in America.
Last year, one of seven households in America -- including 15 million children -- experienced food insecurity. For millions of people, food insecurity means missing meals, being unable to provide enough food for your children, and dealing with the chronic stress that comes from such uncertainty.