Many of us tend to think of hunger at this time of year. The image of a family in our community spending a holiday without a decent meal on the table makes our hearts ache with sadness.
Giving Tuesday occurs annually on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, following in the tradition of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. The day is intended to kick off the season of charitable giving and inspire people to contribute to their community. Once the holiday gifts are purchased, Giving Tuesday refocuses our attention on those who are not experiencing the brightest of holiday seasons.
It’s true that too many families in Southeastern Connecticut go without a warm, bountiful meal on holidays. It’s also true that they struggle every single day of the year to put food on the table for their family. In fact, according the ALICE Report, more than third of all households in New London County are struggling every day to make ends meet, even when working a full-time job.
According to the American Farm Bureau Federation which conducts an annual survey, the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal is $49. But for that donation amount, you can provide up to 490 meals for someone in our community facing hunger. With every dollar donated, United Way has the buying power to turn it into ten meals, at no cost to those in need.
The Gemma E. Moran United Way/Labor Food Center, a program of United Way of Southeastern Connecticut, has played a key role in providing one of the building blocks to a good quality of life by feeding food insecure individuals and families all across our community. The Food Center provides food and household items to 81 free emergency food assistance programs throughout New London County including shelters, food pantries, after-school programs, day care centers, community meal sites, and programs for seniors.
Last year, the Food Center helped to feed more than 21,000 people each month through its member food programs and an average of 1,000 households per month through its Mobile Food Pantry program. Through its network of member agencies, the equivalent of 2.25 million meals was provided last year.
Hunger does not end after Thanksgiving. Whether it’s to celebrate Giving Tuesday and kick off your own season of giving, or to make your year-end charitable donation, please consider a contribution of $49 to help people now and for many months to come. Every gift, no matter how small, truly makes a difference.
Click here to donate online. And we wish you the brightest of holidays from everyone at United Way!