This letter is a response to the letter to the editor "Food event deserves thanks, not criticism" that appeared in the Nov. 11 print edition of The Globe.

Our community can only be as strong as its most vulnerable members. Long after COVID-19, children and families in our community will still face food insecurity. While no one could have predicted that there were letters in the food boxes distributed, it is crucial to recognize their potential to jeopardize the trusting relationships that community connectors have worked hard to build. Breaking that trust puts certain populations at risk for not getting the help that they need.

Food Insecurity is at the front of all our minds especially due to COVID-19, with school closures and lost income. More children go to bed hungry every day, but hunger is not the only issue our children experience — people who are food insecure face obesity-related to malnutrition and other chronic health issues. The pandemic exacerbates the already difficult challenges faced by those who suffer from food insecurity. Children who are food insecure are at a greater risk of not reaching their full potential. They are at increased risk of becoming obese and developing chronic illnesses to continue into their adult life. The CDC and other researchers have found that food insecurity is related to many chronic health conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, asthma, chronic bronchitis and more. This same group of people faces an even higher mortality rate due to COVID-19 than those without comorbidities.

Our children’s health should be a priority because it plays a vital role in our community’s future. We are a unique community that is rich with diversity, culture, passion and vision. From this experience, I hope we can create local, sustainable resources accessible to all community members so that people do not have to say thank you for their most basic human right to feed themselves.