Tuesday, September 1, 2009

September is Hunger Action Month

One in eight Americans struggles with hunger. In America, the picture of hunger is not people starving in the streets - it is not knowing where your next meal is coming from or not having access to healthy, nutritious food. More and more working families are finding themselves not being able to pay bills and purchase food. When money gets tight in your home, what is the first thing you cut back on? Your rent/mortgage? Your utility bills? Most likely you adjust your grocery purchasing habits and change your habits of going out to eat. For some families, making these small adjustments isn't enough... they just can't make ends meet.

Food banks across the country work to provide food to nonprofit agencies such as pantries, shelters, churches and care programs by gleaning food from manufacturers, farmers, distributors, grocers and community food drives in order to make it available to hungry people in your community. In addition to providing food to agencies, food banks may also provide direct services such as emergency food boxes, USDA commodities and children's feeding programs. All of these efforts are supported locally through financial donations, food donations and donations of time through volunteering. Without community support these food banks could not do what they do to fight hunger in your community.

This September is Hunger Action Month. I challenge you to take action in the fight against hunger. Through the Give a Little, Feed a Lot campaign (through Feeding America) food banks across the country are asking for your help. Fight hunger in a big way by giving up something small. If you gave up lattes for a week, how much could you donate to those in need? What if you gave up eating lunch out? Donate to your local food bank what you typically spend on any of these items for a day … a week … a month … whatever you can. Visit www.hungeractionmonth.org to see how you can get involved. Also on the Web site, check out any special events going on in your area for Hunger Action Month through your local food bank. Show up to an event and talk to the staff to learn more about hunger in your community and how you can help - even if you can't make a financial donation. There are so many ways to get involved!

Hunger can affect any one at any time. Even you! Hunger is also a solvable problem. If nothing else, please take a minute to learn more. The face of hunger may surprise you. Happy Hunger Action Month!

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Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!