After reading article after article about food stamp cuts, I've been thinking about how to help families in need and hungry. Did you know that about half of all SNAP households contain children? Friends post on Facebook, "I wish there was a way to help." And there is, even if you can't get your congressman to listen or don't want to try. Either way, join me in donating to the local food bank where you live.
Food banks help people, families in need. Lots more people need help right now feeding their families across the US - one in every seven Americans are impacted by the cuts. (More from this NBC story.) Not getting enough food is bad for everyone, but for kids it's even worse. FeedingAmerica.org says:
Good nutrition, particularly in the first three years of life, is important for establishing a good foundation that has implications for a child’s future physical and mental health, academic achievement, and economic productivity. Unfortunately, food insecurity is an obstacle that threatens that critical foundation. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 15.9 million children under 18 in the United States live in households where they are unable to consistently access enough nutritious food necessary for a healthy life.
Where to find the money without cutting into your budget?
One idea, for example, if you drink Starbucks, buy one less coffee each week and instead buy food for hungry people with that money. It's better for you (mentally and physically) and better for hungry people that need help.
Or maybe you are like me and don't waste your money on fancy coffee drinks, buy one more bag of pasta or one more can of soup or veggies every week at the store and donate those every month to the food bank. Maybe some weeks you can buy more, but whatever you can buy and donate will help.
Take your kids with you to donate the items to the food bank. Let them see how many people need their help. You'll be pleasantly surprised how into helping other kids they get!
Start this week. Let's make a difference to help other families. They need you. Find your local food bank from a list put together by FeedAmerica.org.