Answering the Call

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The basic human right to food is a foundational necessity to live. Throughout human history, we have relied on the production and consumption of food to maintain and healthy diet in order to live a long life. As the world evolved, government and economic policy has played determining factors in limited access to such food for individuals in certain regions. In the year 2020, there were 38.3 million people in the United States living in households experiencing food insecurity; approximately 11.5 percent of the U.S. population. 

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Pumpkins are laid out across a loading dock at the ACENet building off of Columbus Road in Athens, Ohio, where produce is weighed and distributed to food pantry administrators, people in need of fresh, local food and the general public provided by Community Food Initiatives.

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Locally-grown pumpkins are handed off to those are the pick-up spot at ACENet where CFI distributes new produce every week.

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Ivan Hurtado and Ravi Harley set up shop with a pop-up tent in Coolville, Ohio, attracting the public and those who scout out their location thanks to their planned routes and destinations brought by the Veggie Van, Community Food Initiative's reliable cargo-carrying vehicle taking them to produce auctions, pop-up events and more to bring fresh produce to areas in Southeastern Ohio known to be far from grocery stores holding healthier food options.

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Natalie Hoffman scans apples without bruises or over-ripeness inside Kroger in Athens, Ohio.

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In this diptych, Hoffman selects items within her budget held on her Ohio SNAP benefits card while searching in two aisles: the organic aisle where protein bars, "a quick way to get the proteins and sugars I need," and the clearance aisle, where she sifts through cans of soup left in a shopping cart for customers.

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Hoffman picks up salads ready for consumption in the refrigerated section where produce and greens are stocked.

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Hoffman's shopping list is seen reflected in a mirror while she browses the aisles of Kroger in Athens, Ohio, in between tasks on her daily agenda.

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Hoffman loads her grocery items in the self check-out line at a Kroger where she purchases items that will cover her and her daughter for the next week.

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Using her Ohio SNAP card, Hoffman checks out her grocery items with only 84 cents left on the card until it re-loads the following day.

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Hoffman loads grocery bags into the trunk of her car she is borrowing from one of the women at Serenity Grove while her own vehicle, a 2010 Kia, is being repaired.

With barren trees rolling along State Street behind Natalie Hoffman, she loads her grocery bags into the trunk of her borrowed car, finishing another day of shopping at Kroger.