Donate to Feed The Hungry Nowwith Feeding America and your donation will be tripled by Bank of America
I came across a tweet today and since @FeedingAmerica was involved I clicked on the link and found out that if I donate $21 I can provide 504 meals. I learned that Bank of America will triple my donation. If I donate $50, it becomes $150! If my amount seemed too small to make a difference before, it sure doesn’t anymore. If you are passionate about helping the food insecure, now might be the time to make a modest donation.
If you are interested in learning more click here and then click donate now.
Some Facts, Some ReflectionsA Personal Perspective about America’s Hungry from Yours Truly
A couple of years ago I got this job to make this website, ChildCareInfo.com. This website was to “give back to the community that has already given so much to us,” said Tom Clark, Minute Menu CEO. This community that we have the pleasure of giving back to is full of people:
- making the world a better place taking care of children, our nation's future
- servicing those that are taking care of the children, resource and referrals, food program sponsors, continuing education trainers, advocacy groups and so many more
- those whom children belong to, the parents, the grandparents, the full-time caregivers.
I could have never imagined how this new job would change my perspective on the world around me and I am humbled.
I was raised in a predominantly middle to upper-middle class suburban town. Surrounded by like children. In our sports organizations or choirs we did our best to raise money with those fundraisers where your parents take order forms to work and sell wrapping paper, beef jerky, suckers, magazines or any other number of things so we could go on that competition field trip, buy that new uniform or [insert item here] that needed to be purchased in order to participate. If we didn't raise enough money or sell enough “stuff” our parents would either buy it out for us or they would pay the difference, not that it was easy for them, but they could still do it. I don’t recall coming across a friend that couldn't go to something because they didn't raise enough money to go. Having said that, I may have been completely oblivious to that happening but that just drives home my point.
I was in a bubble world. Protected by my immediate surroundings and limited desire to learn more about the hardships of the world around me. I went to college, even got my Master’s Degree in English. I took diversity classes, debated politics, women’s lib, literary theory and whether or not it is fair to go to third world countries and teach them about Christ or democracy while providing them with food and medicine. I've been to Europe, the East Coast and all over California.
It is amazing what I have been exposed to, theorized, and debated but never fully understood the poverty that faces millions of people right outside of my little bubble.
So, back to the beginning of this post. I got this job. It has humbled me. I have learned so much about the child care community but focusing on the hungry or food insecure, these are some things I want to share with you:
- Studies have shown that children perform better in school if they have breakfast, their brains are ready to perform. Did you ever think of low-income children’s limited access to breakfast? What affect does this have on their opportunity to do the best they can in school?
- Stigmas perpetuated with programs in grocery store lines or school lunch lines. Consider this thoughtful blog post on stigmas (Carter, 2012)
- Children in food insecure homes often get their most nutritional foods from school or child care settings. What happens when school is out? Children are at home—Not eating the lunch that is provided to them during the school year (if they are on the school lunch program)
- “In 2011, 50.1 million Americans lived in food insecure households, 33.5 million adults and 16.7 million children.”(Feeding America, 2012)
- Food insecurity with children is such a big issue that Sesame Street created a food insecure character to help food insecure children put words to this situation and bring about awareness. (Sinha-Roy, 2011)
- The Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) helps and has the potential to help even more of the 9.6 million children under the age of 6 that have “uncertain access to food.” Child care environments that participate in the food program provide nutritious meals to all children that attend their child care. (Sinha-Roy, 2011)
- Some children/parents don’t have access to grocery stores to purchase healthy foods. These are called food deserts. In these locations it is less about nutritional education and more about access. (United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service, 2012)
- Time and education. A single parent is working two jobs to make ends meet, it is so hard for them to stop to learn about, purchase and prepare nutritious meals.
- The food insecurity problem lends itself to the obesity epidemic because of these food deserts and limited access to reasonably priced healthy foods, low-income children and adults are a large part of the obesity epidemic. (Food Research and Action Center, 2012)
- Even getting out of the house for a walk is out of the question for some. Parents residing in low income and dangerous areas would rather their child sit in front of the television than walk the streets of their neighborhood, fearful of the dangerous surrounding environment
- These are a few of the many statistics, facts, concerns of the food insecure among us. What do you want others to know about? Share in the comments below.
So, I donated 21 dollars today because I've learned that there is much more outside my bubble and something as common as eating a banana and a bagel before school or work isn't an option for millions in this country. 21 dollars isn't much but it is something. Maybe we can make one more person like me aware of the everyday difficulties millions of people face.
Carter, B. (2012, September 18). Shock and Awe. Retrieved from High Plains, Food Bank: From the Food Bank Blog: http://hpfb.org/blog/blog_post:shock-and-awe
Feeding America. (2012). Child Hunger Facts. Retrieved 2012, from Feeding America: http://feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/hunger-facts/child-hunger-facts.aspx
Food Research and Action Center. (2012). Fighting Obesity and Hunger. Retrieved from frac.org: http://frac.org/initiatives/hunger-and-obesity/
Sinha-Roy, P. (2011, 4 October). Hungry Muppet to appear on "Sesame Street". Retrieved from Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/04/us-sesamestreet-idUSTRE7935LU20111004
United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service. (2012, July 6). Food Desert Locator Documentation. Retrieved from USDA Economic Research Service: http://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/food-desert-locator/documentation.aspx