By Ana Martinez-Ortiz
In 2017, the Hunger Task Force reported that approximately 43 percent of children in Milwaukee County received food stamps. It also noted that 28 percent of people, with children making up 41 percent, live below the federal poverty line.
The organization, Do Something, found that in the entirety of the United States, 40 million people struggled with hunger in 2017.
The number of people who go hungry in the nation and in Milwaukee, is an ever-growing concern that needs to be addressed. 88Nine Radio Milwaukee wants to combat hunger and reduce waste, and it believes technology may be part of the solution.
Earlier this week, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee announced its plan to host a hackathon this weekend, Saturday, Sept. 14 to Sunday, Sept. 15. The hackathon, officially titled Hacking Hunger MKE, is a challenge for Milwaukee residents to put their ingenuity to the test.
According to the press release, Hacking Hunger MKE, “is a challenge focused on innovation and collaboration in the areas of food waste, access and literacy in Milwaukee and beyond.”
It continued, “Students, programmers, marketers, entrepreneurs, designers and anyone interested in tackling these issues are invited to take part on Hacking Hunger MKE.”
The event is one of two free events that 88Nine Milwaukee is hosting this month with its partners, Feeding American Eastern Wisconsin, Maker Faire Milwaukee and MIAD, as a part of the Hunger Action Month.
Feeding America, first established Hunger Action Month back in 2008, according to Days of the Year.
The idea was meant to give the nation a push towards solving the hunger crisis problem.
“Hunger Action Month is a nationwide movement to educate and involve communities in the hunger crisis,” said Rayna Andrews, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin’s director of community impact.
Now, over a decade later, Feeding America continues to combat the hunger crisis. According to Feeding America’s website, each year, Feeding America partners with 200 food banks to issue a challenge.
This year’s goal is to hit 40,000 “actions to end hunger.” So far, its reached 15 percent of its goal with 6,000 actions so far.
The hackathon, is being held at the Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave., and both days start at 9 a.m.
For more information, click here or visit https://radiomilwaukee.org/hackinghunger. Cash prizes will be awarded to the winners.
In addition to the hackathon, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee will also be hosting a tech talk on Wednesday, Sept. 18. The talk will feature Jasmine Crowe, the founder of Goodr, “a startup that uses blockchain technology to reduce food waste and help end hunger.”
“Hunger affects one out of five households in Milwaukee County, where children are present,” Andrews said. “Together we can solve hunger.”