posted by Kristin Williamson
November 15, 2012 @ 3:08 pm
This week we are observing National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week (November 10-18).
Hunger is a huge problem and a complicated issue, but we can empower our children to make a difference if we educate them about the issue and provide them with opportunities to help instead of ignoring or attempting to insulate them from the reality of this epidemic issue. One in four children in our state goes to bed hungry at night. It is all around us.
Here are some ways you can help and get your family involved in making a difference in the lives of those that are hungry.
- Support your local food bank. Wherever you live, there’s a local food bank. Visit its website and learn about the different ways you can get involved – there are countless ways to volunteer. And for those of us in the Midlands of South Carolina don’t forget: Harvest Hope Food Bank feeds 48,000 people PER WEEK in a 20-Previewcounty area. (no, that is not a typo)
- Organize a canned food drive. Pull the kids and some friends together and organize an event to collect canned food. There are lots of ways you can make your drive especially fun AND successful.
- Local soup kitchens. Donating to or volunteering at a soup kitchen is an easy way to help and doesn’t have to involve a long-term commitment.
- Other hunger organizations. There are countless hunger-related organizations that are always in need of support – and lots of these organizations are great resources for statistics and research, too. Look for opportunities to donate or volunteer with such groups as Harvest Hope, Souper Bowl of Caring, Meals on Wheels, SC Appleseed Legal Justice, Feeding America or CROP Hunger Walk.
Local Note: A recent report published by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC)which ranked South Carolina fifth in the nation for food hardship. And if you zero-in on regions, the Columbia area ranks 13th in the nation. (click the link to see the full report)