Poem on Food Insecurity

This poem was written by NYC high school senior Yacine B., as part of the Freedom and Citizenship Civic Leadership Project, with help from her undergraduate Teaching Assistants Ariana O. and Stephanie C. View the rest of Yacine's group project here.

Stop food waste poster with one person saying I can't eat anything and the other person saying I will eat anything.

Have you ever craved food?

Have you ever felt the need to eat from the dumpster?

Have you ever had the thought of going home knowing you don’t have something to eat?

Have you ever felt restless because you are hungry?

Well, if you answered no to all these questions, there is something you should know.


I woke up scratching at my stomach, as if I have allergies

I rubbed and rubbed but it wasn’t going to stop hurting

I tried to get up from my bed but I couldn’t walk straight 

I heard noises and felt kicks in my stomach. 

It hurts!! It felt like my organs were fighting each other to death.

But why? Why? Why do I feel lifeless?

When I finally made it to the yard, I stood over the avocado tree.

I saw its branches waving back and forth.

At that moment, the only thing I wanted to do was shut the noises in my stomach up

I tried jumping up the tree but instead got blown  over by the wind 

I had no strength nor weight to stand against the force of the wind.


Am I the only one who feels this way?

Are there any doctors who can treat me? I think I'm terminally ill.