Every week we make a trip to the grocery store and buy pretty much anything we want. We make a list and try to stay within our budget but in general we are free to buy whatever suits our fancy. We are fortunate to have the money to buy ingredients each week to make our recipes. Food in our lives is synonymous with fun. Unfortunately this freedom with food is not available to everyone. In Louisiana, 1 in 5 children struggles with hunger each day.
September is Hunger Action month. We have joined a list of New Orleans bloggers who are helping to spread the word and raise hunger awareness along with the the Second Harvest Food Bank of GNO and Acadiana. Below are some facts about hunger as well as a list of things that you can do to raise awareness or help firsthand to make a difference in the lives of hungry people.
Some things you might not know about hungry people in the US:
- Around 50 million Americans experience hunger. That is nearly 16% of the US population.
- Not only are 50 million people going hungry every day but another 50 million are food insecure. That’s over 30% of our nation’s population that actively have to worry about food – where it will come from, how they can get it or if they can afford it.
- Many poor people have to choose between feeding their kids & putting gas in their car or paying bills.
- Many families are 1 paycheck away from needing to rely on a food bank, food pantry or soup kitchen.
- In contrast to what many may believe, hunger does not only affect the homeless. Hunger is a daily struggle that can impact anyone.
- In Louisiana, 1 in 8 people struggles with hunger; 1 in 5 kids is at risk of hunger every day.
- Hunger impacts child development, health and wellness, education, workforce development – our general welfare as a nation.
- In many communities and states, food banks are the last line of assistance for many hungry or food insecure families. Without them some people simply would not eat.
- In any given week, Second Harvest services over 42,ooo people via food bank donations.
The facts above are striking and sobering. It makes me very thankful for what I have. The good news is that there are many things that you can do to help people in your area who are struggling with hunger. Many of the way to help listed below are local to New Orleans, but I encourage you to look up the food banks and hunger awareness groups in your area.
- Volunteer your time at Second Harvest Food Bank and/or donate generously, either money or food supplies.
- Cook a meal for an elderly person in your neighborhood.
- Attend Harvest the Music every Wednesday from now till November 2 in Lafayette Square. It’s a free concert but all proceeds benefit those who are hungry.
- While at the Square, pick up a “Fight Hunger” lawn sign to spread awareness in your neighborhood.
- You can also pick up these signs at Second Harvest Food Bank warehouse located at 700 Edwards Avenue, New Orleans LA 70123 (Monday – Friday, 8am until 4pm). This is actually located in the Elmwood area off Clearview in Jefferson. While you’re there drop off a food donation bag. As much as you can give.
- “Like” the Power to Care Facebook page to help spread the message about the Power to Fight Hunger campaign.
- Send a letter to your Congressional representatives & urge them to support SNAP (food stamps). Both Mary Landrieu and David Vitter would love to hear from you on this issue. You can find the list of House representatives here.
- Spread the word via social media – tweet or post facts on Facebook about hunger in your area. Let people know you support your local food bank and its efforts.
- Hold a food drive at your school, office or church. Find out more here.
- Visit Second Harvest’s website to find out more ways you can help or just to find out more information about the organization.
Any individual can make a difference for many people.
Disclaimer: We were contacted by a fellow blogger on behalf of Second Harvest and provided some content materials for this post. We were not compensated monetarily. We do believe in and support the cause and mission of Second Harvest so we are happy to contribute to their efforts.