WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — Food insecurity affects more than 30,000 youth in Sedgwick County. At the Central Kansas Hunger Summit held in Wichita on Thursday, community leaders looked for solutions.
“When I thought about opening up the gym, I knew it was gonna take a sacrifice from my part,” Tracey Mason, Sr. said.
Mason owns the CHD Boxing Club. He said many of the youth he sees daily go without food.
“I don’t want that youth to go home hungry, you know. They don’t have the energy to learn in school,” said Mason.
He said his sacrifice led to him skipping meals himself so he can make sure others eat.
“A lot of them don’t have the fresh fruit, fresh produce because there’s a so-called quote, ‘food desert.’ You know, we don’t have grocery stores around in our neighborhoods,” Mason said.
“We’re not going to eradicate hunger today, but we can have the conversations that later on the road, we can make sure that all Kansans have access to food,” Haley Kottler said.
Kottler works with Kansas Appleseed and says she’s seen it first hand.
“Where I live in Wichita, there are eight grocery stores in the square mile. But if you go two miles west of me, there are zero grocery stores for miles and someone who may already be facing food insecurity, that’s a problem,” said Kottler.
Until then, Mason said he will keep going.
“We will take the help of other organizations, such as food banks, things like that, to be able to tap in and just let people that are hungry come get food to eat,” Mason said.