Food-Insecurity and the Hierarchy of Needs

You never know when Abraham Maslow may make a visit.

It had been years since I had thought of Professor Maslow who you may remember as the father of modern psychology and the creator of the ground-breaking thinking he described as the human “hierarchy of needs.”

The hierarchy of needs very simply focuses on a pyramid of human needs ranging from the most basic (things like shelter, security, love and esteem) to the more advanced; self-actualization and self-transcendence.  Now there’s much debate about how he arranges things and even some doubt among modern psychologists about the overall veracity of some of his ideas in general.   What’s not challenged however is his basic idea; if people are to reach higher levels of fulfillment, happiness and satisfaction, the most basic needs must be met first.

Kind of makes sense right?  If you’re hungry, I mean really hungry, at that moment you’re less concerned with being respected or realizing your full potential.  All you’re worried about right then is…I need to eat.

So Maslow’s need pyramid came to mind over the last couple of days as I’ve met with volunteers and agency directors to discuss the vision and promise of Community Plates; this platform for connecting rescued food from those places where it is currently wasted to where it can be of the greatest use; serving the over 50 million Americans who are classified as food-insecure.

Community Plates adresses this need structure in at least two ways:

1.  As we support our receiving agencies:

One of the original problems that necessitated our action was hearing directors of community organizations saying “we are experiencing the perfect storm of rising demand from the food-insecure, coupled with rising food costs, coupled with declining financial donations.”  One of our objectives then became reducing the food-costs of our receiving agencies to as close to zero as possible.

2.  As our receiving agences are able to reallocate their budgets:

If we are able to accomplish the above “zero-food-budget” objective, then our partner agencies in turn are able to take the newly-freed up funds and spend them on things like job-programs and rehabilitation and achievement in education (just to mention a few worthy expenditures) for the populations they serve.

Right now, many of the organizations and their budgets are enslaved to the bottom rung of the needs hierarchy.  Community Plates and its generous donors and Food Runners can make a difference here.

We need your help.  Come join the cause!

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