Navigating Hunger & Its Causes
As an organization, our mission is to alleviate hunger and its root causes. Hunger is often the symptom of a larger issue, much like a cough is a symptom of a cold. While you want to treat the cough, you ultimately want to eliminate the cold. Alleviating the causes of hunger – namely poverty, eliminates the cold. Much of the work we do is dedicated to providing nourishing food to anyone who needs it, and sometimes that is all they need. However, we also want to assist our clients in other areas of their lives by providing resources that fight the causes of hunger.
This is where our Navigation Services come in. Our Navigation Services staff serve as a liaison between clients and community resources. Often the resource is new to the client, and these individuals may have been unaware of its availability or even knew of its existence. Our Program staff are on the frontlines of hunger every day and are the caring individuals that work directly with food insecure individuals to guide them on a path to increased self-sufficiency. All Program staff are working to earn their Community Health Worker designation, giving them the skills to provide better social service navigation services to our community. Often, our staff reside in northeast Houston, so they have a close understanding of the community being served. Using a people-centered approach, they build trusting relationships.
What Does this Mean for our Clients?
Providing information and assistance with other services allows us to provide a wholistic, individualized approach to aiding our clients. When we can help a family enroll a child in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, for example, we can help parents reduce the cost of medical bills, freeing up funds for other necessities including food. Suddenly, that family can build an emergency fund or save for a first and last month’s deposit on an apartment so they can move out of a relative’s home. The more clients we can connect with through Navigation Services, the more we can do to stabilize their health, finances, and lives. This is what it means to treat the root causes of hunger. Food is a steppingstone for making a tremendous difference in someone’s life, and you can help. You can make a donation to provide a box of nutritious food to someone enrolled in our pantry program, and give them the lift they need.