banner image showing hunger looming over Melbourne, Florida

What Does Hunger Mean in our Culture?
In our country, we say someone is hungry when they no longer have the capability to purchase food from the local grocery store. Whenever someone loses their job, they gradually have less money for expenses and eventually less money for healthy food.

Eventually, if they do not find another job their money supply runs out. When this happens, the specific person can no longer support themselves or their family and they become hungry.



We learned about a brand new term that we had never heard before:
Food Insecurity
The United States Department of Agriculture refers to Food Insecurity as a "measure of lack of access, at times, to enough food for an active, healthy life for all household members and limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate foods." This definition is found on the Feeding America website. It seems to be based on the idea that not many Americans are starving to death, but that some American's diet is not adequate due to a lack of nutritional food.

How Many in Our Community are Hungry?
The same website has an interesting interactive map that shows the nation's distribution of hungry citizens with this definition of food insecure. It shows that the entire nation's food insecure population averages 16.6%. The state that we live in is a little bit higher, but the county that we live in is right about average.

Brevard County has a total population of 533,000. It is estimated that of that total 85,460 (or 16%) are hungry on a regular basis.

What is alarming is that the number that children in our county that fall into this category is 110,000 or 26% of the children! But that is one of the sad parts of hunger, it affects those with the least, and children have the least.
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Our Country and the Issue of Hunger
In our country, we say someone is hungry when they no longer have the capability to purchase food from the local grocery store. Whenever someone loses their job, they gradually have less money for expenses and eventually less money for healthy food.

Eventually, if they do not find another job their money supply runs out. When this happens, the specific person can no longer support themselves or their family and they become hungry.
Description of our Community
The city of Melbourne covers about 41 square miles. Our neighboring 'twin city' Palm Bay is much larger in square miles but the populations are closer to the same number.

The population of Melbourne as of April 1, 2010 was 78,427.

According to government data, the average salary for jobs in Melbourne, Florida is $31,668 per year.

The leading industries in Melbourne, Florida are Educational services, and health care, and social assistance, 21%; Retail trade, 14%; and Manufacturing, 14%.

The average unemployment rate in Melbourne, Florida is around 9.8%. It is actually much higher in North Brevard because of the decline of the Space industry and manned space flight.
Description of Our School
Stone Middle School was built in 1956 as an all black Kindergarten through 12th grade school. It is located at the very southern border of Melbourne, FL in an African American neighborhood. It was desegregated and became a junior high school in the late 60's.

Approximately 60% of our student population qualifies for free and reduced lunch, which is a national measure of students that are at risk for hunger and/or poor diet.

Description of our 'reporters':
Here in Florida we are a very committed group of students with a mix of different talents that help to contribute and build on another students weaknesses. We are a buffet of knowledge and want to learn more about the growing problem of hunger in not only our community but the world as a whole. We love to have the resources that allow us to communicate our thoughts and feelings on this subject with other students around the world who feel the same passion to help. We are truly a great team!
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When Does Hunger Become an Issue?
Well, hunger can become an issue when people are at the point where they can't afford food. You can also tell it's a major issue when you see people who are skinnier than they should be. How can we help? Well, we can donate to local food charities. We can also suggest to collect canned food at out schools. We can do whatever we can to drop the percentage of people who can't get as much food as they need.
Introducing Our Team: The Girls Get IT After School Club @ Stone Middle School
This is a club that seeks to promote Science, Technology, Engineering, and interest in Math at Stone Middle School. This promotional video will introduce you to some of our students:
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