The COVID-19 pandemic has turned our lives upside down and clobbered the economy. Factors such as skyrocketing unemployment, kids home from school with no access to free or low cost meals, increases in food prices and disruption of supply chains have provided a perfect storm for food insecurity across the country. In fact, Northwestern’s Institute for Policy Research reported that food insecurity doubled in the U.S. in April and tripled among households with children1 – that’s millions of families struggling with hunger, many for the first time.
In September we will observe Hunger Action Month. This year more than ever we are called to take action to help solve the problem that is hunger. While this may seem like a huge task, your own effort, no matter how large or small, helps lead us forward in the fight. Not sure how you can help? Here are some ideas on how be part of the solution during Hunger Action Month.
1) Advocate Lending your voice to a cause has never been easier in today’s age of social media. Feeding America has created a list of 5 Myths about Hunger for you to share to help spread the facts about food insecurity with your online community. Remember to include the hastag #HungerActionMonth.
2) Donate cash Your local food pantry would welcome any cash donation you are able to provide. Think $25 won’t make a difference? Think again. Your food pantry can make that donation go a long way to help feed your neighbors in need.
3) Donate food/Run a food drive Even during COVID-19, your food pantry is likely still accepting food donations (be sure to check). You can increase your impact exponentially when you run your own food drive and tap into your network of friends, family and colleagues to support your local food pantry. Luckily, advancements in technology have made food drives much more efficient -- you don't even need collection bins anymore. YouGiveGoods free giving event platform enables you to raise food and supplies online for the nonprofit of your choice. It’s simple to set up your custom event and then invite your online community to take part in Hunger Action Month by shopping your online food drive. All brand-new items ship directly to the nonprofit at the end of the event.
4) Volunteer We talk to food pantries every day and the feedback is always the same, they are struggling to meet the need in their communities. These organizations rely on volunteers to help them serve as many clients as possible. Speak to your local food pantry about the precautions they are taking to ensure the safety of their volunteers and think about whether you are in a position to help.
We’ve been inundated with what seems like a never-ending stream of bad news (yes, even an asteroid is hurling towards us now), but when we take action to fight hunger we are reminded that we can be a force for good in uncertain times and together we can build stronger communities to weather any storm.
1Kids could go hungry this summer with school lunch programs in peril; Washington Post 6/4/20
Take part in Hunger Action Month by raising food for your local food pantry with a YouGiveGoods online giving event.
Discuss your goals with a YouGiveGoods event specialist.