The International Food Bloggers Conference has asked food bloggers to dedicate a post today (April 8th) to discuss hunger in America. This day of awareness is hosted by The Giving Table. Here’s more about it from the NY Times.
So, let’s discuss this…
1 in 5 children are hungry in America.
Yes, America. They live in Oregon, Washington, California, Dallas, New York, Colorado, and every other state. From coast to coast there are millions of children who have no idea where their next meal is going to come from.
In the world’s wealthiest nation, 16 million children go to bed hungry every night.
This is an astounding number and it’s not going to change without awareness and funds….and it’s easy to help…
Here are 5 things you can do, starting TODAY…to help end hunger in America:
1. Get educated. Find out who’s hungry in your community, who’s feeding them (if anyone), and how folks can help. Knowledge is power, and when you know what the problem looks like, you have the power to make a change.
A good place to start is to go iTunes and rent “A Place At The Table“.
2. Walk the walk. Volunteer for local or national organizations that fight hunger and poverty. Nonprofit groups are often the strongest voice for the hungry. We all have some amazing advocates in our local communities (Portland/Metro, see the links below), and any one of them would welcome you with open arms. You don’t have to create an international campaign of your own…just go make some sandwiches.
Oh…and bring you kids, they need to see it too.
3. Pony up! Charitable gift giving can directly support anti-hunger and sustainability efforts. Groceries cost money…write a check. And don’t think that anything is too small…what would happen if every family in your zipcode donated $5 a month to a local food outreach. You get the idea. Give.
4. Pick up a pen. Write your local, state and federal representatives to let them know that world hunger is a political issue and one of your top priorities. And make it clear that if one of their top priorities is getting your vote…
5. Get a soapbox. Talk to your church, social groups, civic clubs…whoever, to help in the fight against hunger. Grassroots efforts make a dramatic difference in the lives of hungry families, as well as provide a strong voice of representation in governments.
If you’ve been around the hautemealz.com blog for any amount of time, you’ll know that childhood hunger is an issue that is near and dear to us. You wouldn’t tell it to look at me, but I have some very personal experience with this subject (I’ve made up for it since, lol – but, if you want, you can read about it here…and get a great, low-cost recipe, too!) and we do our best to support charities, ministries, and organizations that are fighting to feed kids.
Suffice it to say, there was a period of time in my childhood that I remember most of our meals consisting of potatoes and the big blocks of American cheese that the government passed out at the Social Security office.
Some of the things that we do, here at hautemealz.com, include sponsoring several charities and non-profits that share this goal, including The Amy Roloff Charity Foundation, The Father’s Heart Street Ministry, Sparks of Hope, Impact NW, and the national No Kid Hungry campaign, through financial contributions, volunteering our time and resources, auctioning off our private chef services at fundraisers, and preparing and serving meals for fundraising and outreach events.
Currently, we’re working on an exciting new educational outreach program to teach basic cooking skills and low-cost, healthy, grocery shopping, to low income families. The classes will include hands-on instruction, Q&A, and a free cookbook of ultra-low-cost recipes and weekly meal plans and shopping lists!
You can do any of these things as well, or support someone who does.
Do wait, start today.
Before you eat your next meal…do something to make sure that someone else has one, too.