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Food for Thought is a show about starting or changing the conversation about hunger and food security within the state of Michigan,” Phillip Knight tells Kirk Heinze on Greening of the Great Lakes. “We believe we can be the first state in the entire U.S. to solve hunger.”

Knight is executive director of the Food Bank Council of Michigan and host of Food for Thought, Sundays and 9 p.m. on News/Talk 760 WJR.

He explains the difference between hunger and food security.

“Hunger is that physical pain that you feel when you haven’t had enough to eat. Any food will solve hunger. But for people who don’t have a lot of economic choice, it’s a terrible thing to have to choose between paying utility bills or buying food or getting medical care or fixing the car.”

Often food is the first thing on that list to go, adds Knight. Or people buy cheaper food that isn’t usually as healthy. And that can lead to long term health problems.

“Food security is a condition; it’s a state of being. ‘I’m not sure if I’m going to have enough food for myself or for my children today, and I know I don’t have enough for tomorrow.’ When you live in that state of being, it is a toxic and stressful environment.

“If you solve food insecurity, you take care of hunger.”

One of the things we can do that will help toward this goal, adds Knight, “is to create really good policies at both the federal and the state level.

“For example, we should have policies that reward work – not punish people for work. Policy should reflect our values and honor work. The best tool in the anti-hunger tool box is a job that pays a living wage.”

Greening of the Great Lakes airs every Sunday evening at 7:00 on News/Talk 760 WJR and around the state each weekend via the Michigan Talk Network.

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