Ok guys, today's post is about hunger awareness. It's a really important issue to me and I want to share it with you guys.
The fact is that there are people in this country going hungry. People unable to afford nutritious food for themselves and their families. These are hard-working citizens, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers, and saddest of all, children. 11.1% of households in America are food insecure according to Share Our Strength's website (http://www.strength.org/). That's about 13 million households nationwide. Half of them are white families. One third of them live below the poverty line, which is currently just over $21,000 a year.
According to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (http://www.fns.usda.gov/) the average monthly SNAP benefit is $101.53 per person, or $1.12 per meal. Can you imagine a meal that only costs $1.12? A healthy meal, I mean. Not from the dollar menu at McDonald's. It's incredibly difficult to achieve a healthy, varied, and balanced meal on such a budget.
So what can you do? A lot of things. You can donate a few dollars each month to a local food pantry or soup kitchen, or you can donate your time. Share Our Strength has a ton of programs such as the Great American Bakesale, A Tasteful Pursuit, the Great American Dine Out, and Operation Frontline. Feeding America has an advocacy program called the Hunger Action Program and a network for volunteers. Or you can check in your community to find out which soup kitchens and food banks need volunteers. And, if you're in the NYC area, Food Bank for NYC has a TON of programs to join. You can also check which pantries need food donations. Canned goods and dry goods are almost always welcomed, but some pantries also accept fresh goods. If you work in the food industry, see what your business is able and willing to do to get involved.
I support the efforts of a few organizations:
Feeding America (http://www.feedingamerica.org/)
Share Our Strength (link listed above)
Food Bank for NYC (http://www.foodbanknyc.org/)
Grand Central Neighborhood (http://www.gcncommunity.org/)
Single Stop USA (http://www.singlestopusa.org/)
Thanks for taking the time to listen, do your homework, and get involved.