September is Hunger Action Month. According to Feeding America, one in seven Americans do not have enough food to eat. The problem is not food availability—America produces more food than many countries. The problem is access to food. Many Americans just do not have enough money to feed themselves. If you want to help solve hunger in America, the first step is to educate yourself about this issue.
Americans who live in poverty are at a greater risk of experiencing hunger on a daily basis. Feeding America conducted a survey in 2014 that found that “72 percent of all Feeding America client households live at or below 100 percent of the federal poverty line” (US Statistics on Poverty). Although poverty is the greatest factor that contributes to hunger, people who live above the poverty line also face food insecurity as a result of unemployment.
Hunger is especially difficult for children. When a child is hungry, she lacks the energy to focus in school, and her ability to learn suffers. A lack of proper nutrition at a young age can negatively affect a child for her entire life. Many families in America who lack enough food don’t actually qualify for government assistance. Instead, they rely on charitable organizations and local churches to feed them.
Minorities And Seniors
African Americans, Latinos, and senior citizens are more at risk for hunger than other groups in America. Latinos and African Americans face higher levels of poverty and unemployment. Many seniors struggle with health issues that are expensive to manage. Sometimes medication is so expensive that there isn’t any money left for groceries.
What You Can Do To Help
There are a number of actions that you can take to help those who suffer from food insecurity. National organizations like Feeding America accept donations. The money is used to purchase meals for those in need. It’s also likely that there is a local food bank in your area where you can volunteer or donate food. You can also encourage your employer to collect canned goods and other non-perishable foods for donation. These types of events are popular during the holidays, but you don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to encourage your coworkers to get involved.
Your community is the best place to start when it comes to solving hunger. However, there are also many national organizations that work to eliminate hunger. For more ideas on how you can help, take a look at this list of organizations:
Hunger Free America
No Kid Hungry
Meals on Wheels