September is Hunger Action Month (HAM), when Feeding America and member food banks, including the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center and Citizens Bank, our HAM sponsor, ask everyone in America to take action to fight hunger in their community.
Hunger Action Month is an opportunity to join a movement that has a real and lasting impact on our work to end hunger and food insecurity. Whether it’s by advocating and raising awareness, making donations, organizing a food drive, wearing orange, or volunteering, you can find the way that’s right for you to make a difference during Hunger Action Month.
In New London County, the rate of food insecurity is nearly 13% of the county population, or roughly one in every eight residents. For children in New London County, 18.5%, or nearly one in every five, faces hunger.
Chances are, someone your child goes to school with struggles getting enough to eat. When children go to school hungry, they cannot focus on their studies and have a hard time concentrating in class. In addition, lack of food and good nutrition jeopardizes the healthy development of both their brains and bodies.
But children aren’t the only age group struggling with hunger and food insecurity. According to Feeding America, nearly 6 million senior citizens currently face hunger in our country. After a lifetime of hard work, 63% of the households with older adults (50+) that Feeding America serves find themselves facing an impossible choice — to buy groceries or medical care. And as the baby-boom generation ages, the number of seniors facing hunger is only expected to increase.
While these statistics may seem overwhelming, if each person takes action in some small way, the collective impact has the potential to move the needle on hunger and food insecurity. Hunger Action Month in September provides the perfect opportunity to find a way to make a difference and help end hunger in our community.
Here are some ways that you can get involved:
- Make a donation to the Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center. Every dollar donated can provide the equivalent of ten meals! The Food Center provides food to a network of 85 free emergency food programs in New London County that feed more than 20,000 individuals every month. Donate at www.uwsect.org/give.
- Run a food drive at your business or organization or with your civic group. You can find helpful tools and promotional items for your drive on United Way’s website.
- Volunteer at the Food Center or Mobile Food Pantry. Opportunities include sorting food, checking expiration dates, packing produce, loading or unloading the Mobile Food Pantry, and distributing food at one of the ten monthly Mobile Pantry sites.
- Promote healthier food options and support local farmers, growers, and food producers.
- Wear orange, the official color of Hunger Action Month, throughout the month of September.
Learn more about all of the information and opportunities above by visiting http://www.uwsect.org/food-center. And many thanks to Citizens Bank, our Hunger Action Month sponsor!