On an especially cold morning last winter, Nancy arrived for her minimum-wage job as a mail clerk for a large company in downtown Nashville, Tennessee. As she was hanging up her threadbare jacket in the break room, trying to thaw out from a night spent shivering under a thin blanket in her chilly apartment, she overheard some coworkers talking about a breakfast meeting they had just returned from. “Why is there always so much food at those things?” one woman complained. “I’m so full I could burst,” laughed another, as she dropped a tray of leftover bagels onto the counter.

Nancy recalls thinking that she would have happily traded places with either of these women; she couldn’t remember a time in her life when she felt completely full of food. Her dinner the night before had been half of a peanut-butter sandwich, she hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning, and for her lunch, she had packed only an apple, which she would eat with the bagel she snatched off the tray after the women left the room. (“I actually took two bagels,” she admits sheepishly. “It was probably wrong of me, but I figured I could save the second one for dinner.”)

It’s one of the most appalling and difficult-to-understand social injustices in the world today: Food is necessary to sustain life, yet some people are stuffed, gorging on three full meals per day and mindlessly munching on snacks in between, while others are starved, not knowing where their next meal is coming from, or the one after that.

And, as an ad campaign by the Greater Chicago Food Depository illustrated, “food shouldn’t feel like a luxury.” Eating should be the right of all human beings and not something reserved only for those with enough resources.