Okay, I know I tweeted about this already today, but I think that this is such an important issue that I am doing a blog entry as well. For Hunger Action month, Tyson Foods is asking for help to raise awareness for its Hunger Challenge to benefit the San Francisco Food Bank. The company will donate 100 pounds of food (up to a total of 100,000 pounds) for each tweet and 500 pounds per blog post on the subject. The Hunger Challenge page has a list of hunger facts and suggested tweets.
While many of the facts listed on the page are specifically about San Francisco and California, unfortunately, the circumstances they describe are by no means unique. Frighteningly, other states actually rank higher. The truth is, that while we may be considered one of the richest nations on the earth, people in this country are dealing with hunger everyday.
There are so many other issues that make this situation worse: inflation, joblessness, under employment and homelessness. Local food banks are seeing a huge increase in people coming to them for help because of the economy. Many of the new people seeking services are middle class Americans.
If these statistics scare you like they do me, please do something. Find a way to participate. There are endless opportunities: I have seen local libraries hold food drives near the holidays where canned goods are accepted in leiu of fines for overdue books. The United Sates Post Office has two food drives a year and the mail carriers will pick up your donation at your door. Find out who funds the food pantries: many are funded at least in part by local United Way charities which you may already be contributing to. If your church or community group participates in a program, please get involved.
Look up the statistics on hunger in your community and find out where your local food pantries are. If you can afford it, donate cash or food. Take the time to give the gift of yourself and volunteer at the food pantry-volunteers are desperately needed.
This is an important issue. If my tweeting or blogging about this will help feed some hungry people in San Francisco, there is no way that I can let that opportunity pass by. And truthfully, neither should you. Tweet or blog, it is an easy, simple thing to do. And if you can do something else to help please do, because every bit makes a difference.
Hunger and homelessness are two of the greatest problems our society faces today. Both of them are solvable if we are all part of the solution.
Just a few of the many links for even more information: