A key to preventing trafficking is knowing that traffickers use youth’s vulnerabilities to target their victims. Hunger/food insecurity is a vulnerability. Traffickers may promise resources for a youth or their families. They may even groom a child who’s living with food insecurity by treating them to food. Simply put as well, the stress and toll of living with chronic hunger and malnutrition leaves youth less able to make choices that would help them stay safe.
…They introduced me to the trafficker. They were good to me at that time. I was hungry and they fed me.An 18-year-old in our survivor care
During the pandemic, we’ve seen countless videos of lines wrapped for blocks around food pantry lines. In ordinary circumstances, food insecurity, and lacking basic needs, is a risk factor for trafficking. However, compounded with added economic uncertainties, including the absence of some free lunch programs for virtual learners, families are struggling with hunger at much greater rates.
Love146 Works to Address Food Insecurity By:
- Bringing holistic care to children, including meeting their nutritional needs, too. Our safe homes in the Philippines even have a farm and beekeeping on site.
- Providing survivors of trafficking and their families with groceries and other basic needs, especially during COVID.
- Funding a Survivor Care program that has a heck of a lot of supportive meet-ups with youth in our care over yummy meals together (except during COVID, obviously).
- Giving survivors someone they can turn to even after leaving our care, if they have needs later in life.
- Reaching youth with a prevention curriculum that emphasizes to youth the importance of finding specific resources unique to their individual vulnerabilities.
I’m going to work hard and finish my studies, and someday I’ll have enough to help my family and others in need. We’ll have a huge kitchen!”A 9-year-old in our survivor care
Additional Resources and Organizations:
No Kid Hungry – Free Meal Finder
UN Sustainable Development Goals – Zero Hunger
USDA National Hunger Hotline: 1-866-3-HUNGRY or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (7am – 10pm EST)