Back before I had a kid and a blog, we lived in another state. It was a state plagued–then as now–by a high poverty rate.
I was at a point in my life when good fortune and a lot of hard work had placed me in a community leadership position. Through that endeavor came an invitation to join several charity boards.
I chose to work with the local food bank because, to my way of thinking, food security was the underpinning issue for all kinds of things troubling our community: poor student achievement, slack regional economic growth, and rising healthcare cost woes.
At a lunch meeting with a prominent, well-respected older gentleman—someone whom I considered a personal mentor, I shared my enthusiasm for the new food bank board position.
“Why did you choose the food bank?”
“Because I believe that food insecurity is a real problem that we need to solve.”
“Oh, how disappointing. Poor people are always going to be hungry. You’re wasting your time with that project, I fear.”
He might as well have called me “little lady,” too.
I lost my appetite and he lost a lot of my respect.
I’ve been thinking for a long time about women and our voices and how we can use them to counter the defeatist “oh, what a waste of time” or “no one can ever really fix that” mentality that hinders our ability to collectively solve social issues like hunger.
That’s why, for the second consecutive year, I’m pleased to support the annual Moms Fighting Hunger campaign affiliated with the national No Kid Hungry charity.
Lemme tell you something, if you want to build awareness about a serious social problem—in this case childhood hunger—there is no more powerful force than women armed with laptops and iPads. There are some amazing kid-centered projects and advocacy graphics that women bloggers have shared this month, and I’ve catalogued them for you on a Pinterest board.
Now, if you want to pay tribute to that sort of women-powered, online social advocacy, I have a special project for you. Go grab your checkbook and write a check in honor of Moms Fighting Hunger to your local food bank (or donate online to a national charity like No Kid Hungry or Feeding America).
Because as great as those upcoming end-of-year food drives will be, the reality is that food banks and pantries alike need money 24/7/365 to ensure a steady food supply. Pantries in particular need it to purchase items like fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits or holiday turkeys and hams.
Although most of us remain blissfully unaware of hunger hardships and the ins-and-outs of food banks, most of these charities are networked in a manner that they can purchase food at a discount in bulk. As one food bank higher-up once told me, “A donated canned good only goes so far. But persuade ten people to give me $10 each, and I can stretch that money for months.“
I promise that your $10, $20, $30 cash donation to fight hunger this fall will make a real difference in your community—maybe even well into the new year.
Bonus! It’s likely a tax-deductible gift, too. (You can ask the individual agency to which you’re contributing if you’re uncertain.)
Now, what are you waiting for?
Time is a wastin’!
Make a donation!
And remember this: your personal commitment to addressing hunger in your community–in whatever way you can do–is never, ever a waste of time.
P.S. If you plan to donate food items, too, it’d be awesome if you’d include items suitable for families with food allergies. Thanks!