by Molly Veydovec *
Childhood hunger is very real.
No Kid Hungry® reports that over 11 million people in the United States are living in food-insecure homes, meaning “the households don’t have enough food for every member to live a healthy life.”
A moment of this emotional video (below) tells us one out of every five kids won’t get the nutrition they need today.
As Feeding America® elaborates, “Kids who don’t get enough to eat — especially during their first three years — begin life at a serious disadvantage.” Little brains need nutritious food to develop and flourish.
The images are startling. The numbers make us feel hopeless. And, the stories lead us to overwhelm and inaction. But there has never been a more important time to act!
And there are things you can do to make a difference. Make a commitment to overcome the obstacles and help a child today.
1. Look hunger in the eye
The first (and maybe most crucial) step is to take an honest and sincere look at hunger. Hunger is not just a problem in underdeveloped nations in faraway lands.
Hunger is real in your city and your town and your child’s school. Often, we may not even notice that a child comes from a food-insecure home. They may appear well dressed and cared for but have a support system that struggles to provide good nutrition. Understand that this is a real need in our society.
One in five kids … that means that several youngsters in your child’s class may be at risk of hunger. See their hands gratefully, humbly, receiving a school lunch, and open your heart to their experience.
2. Take small but consistent action
$20 a month provides over 600 servings of fresh produce to your neighbors in need. That’s incredibly impactful! Make it a goal to contribute a small amount on a regular basis. This is something that you can feel good about and it’s the price of a new lipstick or a McDonald’s dinner.
If you have the flexibility, consider volunteering for an organization that is committed to ending child hunger in the U.S. Just one or two hours a month can make a meaningful difference and will set an example for the next generation.
3. Share your commitment
Be willing to talk about child hunger. Millions of children near us are struggling to know where their next meal will come from. They go home to empty shelves and are forced to focus on a rumbly tummy rather than being a kid. Yet we don’t talk about this? Does that feel right to you?
Be willing to talk with your friends and neighbors about what childhood hunger looks like in your community. Brainstorm about a world where this isn’t an issue. People, just like you, who care to make a difference are the only chance these vulnerable children have. By talking and making the issue real we consciously create a future where this no longer exists. Great things happen when caring individuals put their heads together.
Together we can make a significant and lasting difference for children who are in need. Be willing to face childhood hunger, share your own gifts, and be a voice for our littlest humans.
If you would like to put good food on the table of a family in need, click here to make a donation today — your gift makes a significant difference to a family in need as a simple $20 donation provides over 600 servings of fresh fruits and vegetables to families who might otherwise go without.
* Molly Veydovec is a SoSA Volunteer
No Kid Hungry- Facts about Child Hunger
Feeding America- Facts about Child Hunger