*Today’s post is sponsored by ConAgra Foods in support of the #ChildHunger Ends Here program. All opinions are my own.
At least twice a day I stand in front of my fridge or my pantry and think, Dude, I’m so starving right now.
Only, I’m not.
Not really anyway. I may be feeling the hunger pangs because my current desire to be more healthy and fit isn’t allowing me to enjoy copious amounts of chocolate chip cookies, but real, true, lack of access to proper nutrition like that experienced by one in five children in the United States, uh-uh, that’s not what I’m talking about.
I don’t know what that feels like.
My Dudes don’t know what that feels like.
They don’t know what it’s like to go to bed hungry, or to wake up hungry, or to sit and watch their mom and dad struggle to get them a few morsels so that they don’t have to be hungry.
Sadly, millions of little people in this country do know what that’s like. They know about the uncertainty, and the fear, and the adult sized worries that come along with being hungry.
Those are the kinds of things that get in the way of learning and growing and becoming the person you have the potential to be.
And, it’s not just an issue in inner cities and poor communities. It’s an issue in every city and town across the nation. But, it doesn’t have to be.
In a country with as many resources as ours, I don’t even understand why kids are forced to go without access to such a basic necessity as food. It’s sad, and ridiculous, and shameful, and dumb.
I don’t like dumb.
I do like solutions.
Here are a few you can think about being a part of online and/or in your own community to help End Childhood Hunger.
10 Easy Things You Can Do to End #ChildHunger
1. Educate yourself. Learn about the hunger problem in your community. I know, everyone where you live has plenty of food, right? Probably, wrong. If there are children in your school community receiving free or reduced breakfasts an/or lunches at school, chances are they are at risk for hunger. Think about what happens in the evening, or even worse, during the summer months, when their access to the breakfast and lunch programs put on by the school isn’t available. What then? Summer meal programs if they’re lucky enough to have them. You can help make sure they do: Learn about how you can help the summer meal programs in your community.
2. Donate money. There’s not a hunger relief program on the planet that would turn down your cash.
3. Get involved with a community gardening initiative. Community gardens can help provide food for soup kitchens in the area, they can be a place where individuals can grow their own food more affordably than what they could buy, and they can be teaching tools to help people learn how to create a more sustainable life for themselves. Here’s an example of how a New York area community garden is helping to feed the hungry.
4. Donate food. Nonperishables are easiest and often make the most sense.
5. Help connect businesses to key hunger fighting initiative leaders in your area. If you’re a business owner, or know a bunch, get involved. Resources + knowledge = solutions.
6. Volunteer. It takes a lot of hands to feed a few mouths.
7. Waste less. If you’re not going to eat it, don’t buy it. With the extra money you save, you can make a donation.
8. Tell all your friends about it. Awareness brings action. People need to know how big of an issue hunger in America is and how many children are truly struggling with it.
9. Teach your kids about this issue. They should understand that there are kids in the community who need people like you and them to help them get the things in life we often take for granted. Maybe the legacy of support and action you begin in your home, with your family, will help eliminate this issue in the future.
10. Help Con Agra Foods and P&G donate 7 million meals through the Child Hunger Ends here program. This one is super easy. Just look for the red pushpin and locate the code found on specially marked ConAgra Foods and P&G products. For each 8-digit code entered at www.ChildHungerEndsHere.com (or right here on DudeMom.com in the sidebar) from March-August 2014, ConAgra Foods or P&G, respectively, will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America.
Want to learn more about child hunger and how you can help? Take a few moments to TAKE THIS SURVEY. It will help the Child Hunger Ends here team determine better ways to fight hunger. Also, join me, The Motherhood, and the ConAgra Team for a Twitter event in support of and the Child Hunger Ends Here Initiative. You can learn all about it and RSVP here: Fight #ChildHunger