It is all about people; not about food. Since the inception of food pantries a few decades ago, we thought the answer to hunger is food. Ironic as it is, in the first world country like the USA, it’s not the lack of food but lack of relationships, knowing who is our neighbor and establishing trust in our neighborhoods. Food pantries are supposed to serve the people not the system. It is about the “end-user” as our technology culture puts it.
Here’s an article that will change the way you see food pantries – Why Ford hired a Furniture Maker as their CEO
UX design thinking – meaning User-Experience is what matters. In other words, we can put more food in food pantries or we can even fill the parking lots with trucks containing free food and the demand will just continue to grow. Why? Because in our intention to help others, our system is actually hurting them. Somehow, we created a system where people saw gaps to abuse it and thought that it’s ok because we continue to do the same system over and over again expecting different results. It seems like we created bigger problems than hunger.
It is time to change our mindset that there are better ways to address hunger beyond giving a bag of food. Instead of putting a Band-Aid on the problem, let’s look at the root causes of hunger and tackle them one at a time while providing “emergency” food assistance.