In 2010, it was reported that a record 17.2 million American households were food insecure. This was the highest number ever reported in United States history. Although the American economy is slowly starting to pick up, food insecurity is still a major concern in the daily lives of Americans.
The media is constantly reporting about the problems of childhood obesity, food insecurity, and malnutrition. With all these negative topics, it is easy to feel overwhelmed to the point that it feels like there is nothing that can be done.
March is the perfect month to become proactive about this issue. Why? March is National Nutrition Month!
- The obvious, but always helpful: Volunteer at your community food bank or soup kitchen. These organizations are always appreciative of some extra hands.
- Volunteer with organizations focused on hunger: Nonprofits such as Feeding America, FoodCorps, Meals on Wheels, and many others are great sources to not only find volunteering opportunities, but also to get facts on hunger and who it affects.
- Hold a canned food drive: Food banks always need donations, especially after the holidays when their shelves run low. There are many ways that you can spice up your canned food drive. It is a great way to get your whole community involved to tackle hunger.
- Tackle hunger as a team: Organizations such as generationOn have excellent resources to tackle hunger with your family, neighbors, or friends. Make fighting hunger fun by turning it into a competitive game.
- Educate your community about nutrition: Obesity is a serious issue, especially in communities where food diversity is scarce. Talk to your local school about teaching students about the benefits of good food choices. Suggest healthier lunch options, if they are not already available.
- Join the local food movement: Encourage your friends and family to buy local. Your body will be thankful that you are feeding it well! Your local farmers will be happy that you are supporting them too.
- Got leftovers? If you have a decent amount of leftovers after dinner, give them to someone who truly needs them, instead of taking them home to the dog.
- Raise money for organizations that feed the community: Hold a fundraiser at your child’s school, your church, workplace, or neighborhood. You can donate the proceeds to your community’s soup kitchen, food bank, or your favorite hunger cause.
- Spend a day in the life of the hungry: Volunteer to fast for a day, see what it is like to be hungry.
- Lobby to get better food options: Does your local school not provide nutritious lunches to school children? Have you noticed that your community only has fast food options for its residents? Make a change! Educate your community members on the harmful effects of bad nutrition and make a plan to make a change.
By incorporating just one of these tips into your volunteering schedule, you can really make a difference in the American hunger statistic!
Are you volunteering to end hunger? We’d love to hear about it in the comment section below!