September is Hunger Action Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness of hunger in America and finding solutions within our communities.
According to Feeding America, 1 in 8 people (42 million) in the U.S. experience food insecurity. Of these people, 13 million of them are children who may not know where their next meal will come from.
Here’s how you can take action this month to help people in your community and beyond.
1. Become a regular food bank or food pantry volunteer. Over half of all soup kitchens, food pantries, and meal programs rely on volunteer support. Spending a few hours each month volunteering can make an enormous difference for food banks and the families they serve. Volunteering can also help you live longer and be happier. Pledge to volunteer at your local food bank here.
2. Learn how New England dairy farmers are working to get nutritious milk and dairy foods to individuals and families in need. Real cow’s milk is one of the most requested items at food banks but least donated items. While many people are generous with canned goods, it’s more difficult for food banks to accept milk donations due to its perishability. Refrigeration and storage capacity varies among food banks and is often limited. Follow us on social media @NewEnglandDairy to see when we are coordinating milk or dairy donation initiatives where you can participate to increase impact.
Terra Firma Farm, a dairy farm in North Stonington Connecticut, started a local Give Gallons program. They secure funds to deliver 300 gallons of milk a week to the Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center and the Gemma E Moran United Way/Food Center. For every contribution of $5, one half-gallon of milk or more based on local markets will be secured and delivered. Click here to make monetary donation to support this program.
The Open Door based in Gloucester, MA is able to regularly accept milk and dairy product donations. If you have prepared or perishable items you’d like to donate, please follow these donation guidelines. Food donations can be dropped off at the Food Pantry during regular business hours.
3. Brush up on the latest hunger facts so you can debunk the myths. Every county in the United States struggles with food insecurity. By sharing these five myths about hunger, you can help raise awareness of the problem and inspire your friends and family to help. Read and share the Five Myths About Hunger on social media using #HungerActionMonth.
4. Support school meal programs. The School Breakfast Program and National School Lunch Program provide nutritious meals to students at a low or reduced cost, or sometimes even for free. School meals follow strict standards to ensure that students are receiving the proper nutrients required for optimal health. Learn more about how New England Dairy supports schools in making sustainable changes to the school nutrition environment.
5. Talk to your children about hunger in America. It is never too early to get involved in the fight to end hunger in your community. Feeding America’s Family Action Plan has fun activities that will help you talk to your child about hunger and age-appropriate ways they can make a difference.
6. Donate or fundraise for Feeding America or your local food bank. Your donation to Feeding America or one of its member food banks keeps hunger relief programs across the country running smoothly. While donating food may seem like the best thing to do to help your local food bank, the Feeding America network of food banks can do even more with a monetary donation. Consider making a one-time or monthly donation in honor of Hunger Action Month.
Reminder: Hunger Action Day 2022 is on September 23rd
Orange is the color of hunger. Stand together by wearing orange, turning city or town landmarks orange, and by raising our voices across the country on behalf of the millions of people facing hunger. Learn more.