Are there hungry people in my town?

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The answer to the question is, unfortunately, yes. There are indeed hungry people in my town.

Both the very small towns and the large metro suburbs in Dallas County contain families and individuals who cannot count on having enough to eat every day.

Hunger experts talk about lack of access to nutritious food. This includes rural areas with no grocery store, older adults living close to a store but with no way to get there and families with such a limited income that they buy only cheap, less nutritious foods.

Hunger Free Dallas County is a coalition addressing these needs. To find a nearby food pantry, go to the Hunger Free Dallas County website for updated information that includes permanent food pantries and schedules for one-day mobile pantries and pop-up produce stands.

Pop-up produce stands sell fresh fruits and vegetables at extremely low prices and are for anyone — not just “poor” people.

Another group, Eat Greater Des Moines, is presenting a documentary about the impact of chronic hunger on children. “No Small Matter” will be shown Tuesday, Jan. 8 from 68 p.m. in the Sussman Theater at 2875 University Ave., Des Moines. Admission is free.

For volunteer and donation opportunities, click the “Get Involved” link on the the Hunger Free Dallas County website.

Ann Cochran is the health navigation coordinator in the Dallas County Public Health Department.

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