Updated: Jan 13, 2021
TU-AMA has positively affected change by tackling food insecurity and the need for clothing and winter essentials in the Philadelphia community. Students collected men's and women's clothing, winter essentials with non-perishable food items, and unopened hygiene products over two weeks before heading into the holiday season. By working and advocating for businesses and organizations like Grace Cafe, Cherry Pantry, and Prevention Point, TU-AMA has shown its dedication to positively impact and take action against hunger and poverty in the Philadelphia and Temple community.
From a global perspective, poverty and food insecurity continue to be a very challenging, uphill problem. Donating essential items and offering services is an effective approach to directly make a positive impact. Also, by being a political advocate, individuals can easily and effectively help fight global poverty.
The U.S and its Role in Combating Poverty
Our country could see a return on investment if citizens started to exercise their ability to affect change within their societal role of political advocacy, which would push to combat food insecurity in the United States. When looking at notable and sizable aid that has been provided by the United States starting in the 1940s through the 2000s, the United States has provided a total of $48.1 billion in aid to countries and are currently receiving roughly around $760.1 billion in exports per year, which is a fantastic return on investment. Former Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, once said that “We need to stop viewing it as aid. It’s an investment,” and this ideal is very prevalent when examining the benefits that foreign investment has on the U.S economy.
Foreign investment not only benefits the economy but also assists the United States’ foreign relations. Additionally, it is important to note, that when evaluating foreign policy and relations, there are three Ds to evaluate a country’s performance: defense, development, and diplomacy. The U.S current foreign policy focuses on the Pentagon, which is defense and lacks development and diplomacy.
The world’s most dangerous countries are also among the poorest and would benefit from a U.S foreign policy more focused on development and diplomacy. In fact, 84% of military officers will say that U.S foreign policy should be altered to focus on strengthening non-military tools, such as diplomacy and development efforts. To give a little more perspective, an excerpt from the 911 commission report reads “Millions of families, especially those with little money, send their children to religious schools, or madrassas. Many of these schools are the only opportunity available for an education, but some have been used as incubators for violent extremism. According to Karachi’s(capital of the Pakistani) police commander, there are 859 madrassas teaching more than 200,000 youngsters in his city alone”.
The political climate and poverty do truly have a cause and effect relationship, however, countries that have extreme poverty and food insecurity face their biggest barrier with overpopulation. This problem can be attributed to a less-developed county’s lack of access to proper education and high poverty rates. To give some perspective, the birth rate in more developed countries is 1.7, while the birth rate in less developed countries and the least developed countries are 2.6 and 3.9. A good example of a country that has spent time focusing on improving its education, quality of life, and economy, is Ethiopia, as the country has seen a reduction in birth rate from 47.5 per 1,000 in 1990 to 31.9 per 1,000 in 2019.
Become a Political Advocate
Your voice can make a huge difference by pushing politicians to push certain bills that can help improve poverty and food insecurity from not only a domestic standpoint but also a global standpoint. Exercising your role as a political advocate by supporting poverty and food insecurity driven legislation will not only help to improve other’s quality of life but can also help our country’s economy and national security, as well as our world’s overpopulation challenges.
Visit The Borgen Project to learn how to make a global impact on poverty and food insecurity, which include emailing & calling congress, volunteering, signing up for e-alerts, internship opportunities, and education about relevant politics!
Fight Food Insecurity in Philadelphia
Visit the Grace Café, Cherry Pantry, or the Philadelphia Community Fridge if you are a Philadelphia resident or Temple student who is experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, or poverty. Each establishment provides the necessary food and resources for those in need.
Visit the Sunday Love Project or Broad Street Ministry if you are a Philadelphia resident or Temple student who is experiencing homelessness, food insecurity, or poverty. Both establishments provide hot and professional made meals throughout the week.
Visit Prevention Point if you are a Philadelphia resident or Temple student who is experiencing a public health or homelessness crisis. Point Prevention provides the necessary medical tests and treatment, as well as a clothing drive that helps to combat poverty and public health issues within the Philadelphia community.
TU-AMA’s hashtag: #JoinTheConversation, is used to remind you that you are never alone if you have struggled/are struggling with food insecurity and if you want to help your community during this holiday season, TU-AMA is happy to guide anyone in combating global food insecurity and poverty!