September is #HungerActionMonth.
Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, needs people to donate, volunteer, spread the word and vote to alleviate hunger in America.
54 million Americans are “food insecure,” that is, they don’t get enough to eat . This is a whopping 46% increase since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. And 18 million of those are children.
It is especially troubling for the children who experience the anxiety of food insecurity. The affects are long lasting and serious, from a vulnerability to illness starting with asthma and anemia to learning difficulties and social problems later in life.
The Food Banks are feeling the pressure of this increase: they now serve 50% more than before and 30% have never needed help before the pandemic. The food banks are a national network. 200 of these organizations collect and distribute food to 60,000 local food pantries, charities and churches that get the food to the hungry. There is an increased need for volunteers and donations, both monetary and in-kind.
Because the economy is at the mercy of the pandemic, unemployment and hunger will continue, requiring help through such federal programs as school lunch programs, food stamps (SNAP) and emergency funding to assist families. Voting in November to protect these programs is essential.
“We need your help now more than ever,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “Hunger in this country existed long before COVID-19, but the pandemic has thrust more and more of our neighbors into food insecurity, and food banks are responding to a sustained, increased demand.” People can help by:
- Volunteering at their local food bank
- Donating to their local food bank or Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund
- Contacting elected officials to protect and increase the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or food stamps, which is the first line of defense against hunger
- Pledging to vote to feed America this November
Donate, volunteer, spread the word. And vote.
And if you or someone you know is currently struggling to feed loved ones, here are some programs and agency efforts that can be of assistance:
- Meals on Wheels
- Feeding America
- World Food Program
- The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
For more information see: