Guest post from Feeding America.
Photo: Feeding America
In America today, 1 in 8 people face hunger. It might be hard to believe that in the land of abundance, so many are in need – but hunger is a reality in our country, and it affects people from all walks of life.
Hunger impacts people like Priscilla, a Navy veteran and young mother of two in El Paso, Texas. Priscilla can’t afford daycare and her youngest has yet to start school – so she’s unable to work full time. She does as many odd jobs as she can find, but still struggles to put food on the table.
It impacts people like Ortilia and Tyrone in Georgia. When Tyrone lost his job and Ortilia got sick, they didn’t make enough to pay bills and buy food. To cope, they often skipped meals so that their three children could eat.
And it impacts people like Nicholas, a senior living in southern California. Nicholas worked hard his whole life, but after an injury left him unable to work, he found himself barely getting by. “I’m destitute right now,” Nicholas said, while waiting in line for a food pantry. “Without this place, I would probably go hungry.”
People in every single community in the United States face hunger – including 13 million children and more than 5 million seniors. This means someone in your hometown – like Priscilla, Ortilia, Tyrone and Nicholas – is struggling to get enough to eat. At Feeding America, we find this unacceptable, so we’re working hard to end hunger across the country.
Feeding America is a nationwide network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. We strive to end hunger by not only providing food, but also by educating the public about the issue; connecting people with federal nutrition assistance; collaborating with community organizations to help people build a path to a brighter future; and advocating for policies that protect people in need.
Despite our hard work, there is still much more to be done as millions continue to struggle with hunger. And to do more, we need your help. There are many ways you can join us in our mission to end hunger; you can donate, advocate and volunteer.
Volunteers help Feeding America member food banks in every aspect of their operations. Volunteer activities can range from gleaning produce from a farm; packing, sorting and distributing food; helping to staff an event; or providing a food bank access to specialized skills, such as carpentry, marketing or technology. Volunteers span all age groups and come from all walks of life – celebrities, youth groups, corporate volunteer teams, fraternities and sororities, and individuals.
Marilee Maddin volunteers four days a week at Feeding the Gulf Coast, a food bank in Alabama. She has found volunteering to be a real eye-opening experience. “I never realized how many individuals and families need help. And there are so many kids facing hunger in America,” she said. As a configuration manager for the United Space Alliance, Marilee helped configure payloads for space shuttle flights. Now, as a volunteer, she’s translated her experience to the food bank warehouse to increase safety and efficiencies. “I feel a sense of accomplishment every time I volunteer and I get up every morning and look forward to coming here.”
To learn more about volunteer opportunities in your community, contact your local food bank. You can help us make a difference in the lives of millions Americans. Working together, we can end hunger.