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5 ways you can make a HUGE difference this September for Hunger Action Month™
Sep 04, 2015
Think about this, right now in our community 1 in 5 people are going hungry. In Iowa, we have some areas where a fourth of our school-aged kids receive their only meal from school. September is Hunger Action Month, and this month we are focusing our efforts on the fight to help those who struggle to get the nutritious food they need. Here are five ways you can personally make a difference in the life of a hungry man, woman or child this September..
1) Support your local food pantries and reservoirs.
At HACAP, giving a little ends up feeding a lot. Every dollar we receive can be turned into 3 meals! Holding a food drive is an easy way to clean out your cabinets while giving back at the same time. Food Drives can be held in a multitude of places and for many occasions. Have a big get together with friends, or maybe a family reunion? Tell everyone coming to the party to bring three canned food items. You may be surprised at how much food you can get. Always remember that every little bit helps. Anissa Bourgeacq, Director of the HACAP Food Reservoir, says that the best items to donate are peanut butter, canned chicken, tuna, low sodium soup, canned fruits, and canned vegetables.
It’s quite simple; more help means more work can be accomplished. Annually, our volunteers help us accomplish 4 times more than what we can achieve on our own. In Linn County alone there are 42 agencies that are constantly in need of volunteers to help put food on the tables of those who need it most. Volunteering not only helps get more food out the door faster, but it can also give you an up close and personal look at just how real the issue of food insecurity is right in your own backyard. Having that experience as a volunteer then allows you to become an advocate with a voice that can help extend our reach within the community. More hands more voices = greater impact.
(See a full list of agencies that need your help here, http://www.linncounty.org/DocumentCenter/Home/View/151).
3) Share a fact with Facebook friends.
If you don’t have the time volunteer or donate financially, donate space on your Facebook! In our day in age messages travel quickly on social media, so why not use your status for good! A quick and easy way to spread the word about food insecurity in our community is to let your friends know how real the issues is. Here are some “shareable” facts that can get you started:
- 1 in 4 school age children get their only meal of the day at school.
- Every 3.6 seconds, somewhere in the world, someone dies of hunger.
- 15% of Americans suffer from food insecurity.
4) Take a “Spoon Selfie”.
Awareness is a key factor that helps fight hunger in our communities. This month Feeding America is asking anybody with a social media page to spread awareness by taking a selfie and posting it to your social media with the hash-tag #Spoontember. This isn’t just your ordinary selfie, it’s a spoon selfie! Grab the nearest spoon you can find, try your best to balance it on your nose or pose in another fun way, and snap a photo (as seen in the photo below). The more “spoon selfies” we get online, the more people hear about the cause to end local hunger. To get the message out effectively post an interesting fact and tag a local food bank so that people know where to go when they want to donate food! Tag HACAP on Facebook (@HACAP) or Twitter (@HACAP_).
Photo taken from feedingamerica.org
5) Eat Out.
Sounds unusual at first, doesn’t it? How can dining out help feed those in need? Keep watch for local businesses in the Cedar Rapids/Iowa City area that offer fundraising opportunities for local food banks.
The Panera Bread Company has been a great supporter of HACAP and just recently held a special Hunger Action Month Fundraiser where 20% of all sales went to benefiting the HACAP Food Reservoir. If you happened to miss the fundraiser, no need to worry. Panera keeps a donation box in front of all cash registers with a slot for donations to be made.