As our nation, state, and local communities face unprecedented circumstances, we’re often challenged to be kinder to our neighbors and consider the greater good of those around us.
Feeding America has designated September as Hunger Action Month to raise awareness while combating the hunger crisis throughout the United States. As one in nine people in the U.S. fights hunger every day, we also see the effects of this issue here in the Triangle.
Fortunately, we have excellent resources lending a hand locally, and we have plenty of opportunities to get involved personally.
Ranking 15th in the nation for total meals distributed, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina (the Food Bank) served more than 750,000 community members across 34 counties in the past year alone. The Food Bank’s excellent work earned it recognition as Feeding America’s Food Bank of the Year for 2020.
Supporting your local chapter of the Food Bank is a great way to get involved. We urge you to consider the following to begin your journey in fighting hunger:
- Donate Items to your local chapter of the Food Bank, to food drives, or to other organizations tackling hunger in your community. While canned goods are always a good option (make sure to donate a can opener if it’s not an easy-open top), check beforehand to see what items are most needed and if commonly forgotten items such as fresh produce, proteins, and dairy items will be accepted. (What good is cereal with no milk?)
- Conduct a Food or Fund Drive with your friends, family, or organizations. There is power in numbers. Fund drives can also help you provide valuable materials to your local pantry such as personal care/hygiene items if those items canbe donated.
- Donate Funds so organizations can empower their communities by providing items they see are most needed. Or donate to organizations such as the Food Bank, where $10 can provide 50 meals.
- Volunteer to pack/distribute meals, or help families shop at your local pantry. A friendly face (or faces) always helps us reconnect with our neighbors.
- Serve on a Food Bank Committee or Board and help empower your neighbors. Remember, millions of Americans are just one emergency, job loss, or missed paycheck away from being forced to choose between their next meal and other life necessities.
- Advocate for those affected by hunger and help them tell their story.
While these are excellent ways to start, it’s also imperative to understand the problem of hunger is a systemic one, making legislation equally as important in your journey to help your neighbors. Links such as this one, provided by Feeding America, make it easier to contact legislators to advocate for programs that assist those without enough to eat.
What are you waiting for? Get involved and make a difference today.