Over 16 million children live in poverty in the United States-that is 45% of all children in America, living below the federal poverty line. Beyond the fact that living in poverty puts these children and their families in a disadvantage for many, many things, it also means that there are far too many American children who are without access to enough food.
Who is Scary Mommy Nation?
"Thanksgiving dinner? Ha. I can’t even buy a loaf of bread."
In 2011, Jill Smokler, New York Times best-selling author and owner of all things Scary Mommy, was confronted by a multitude of anonymous confessions on her site- mothers filled with frustration and fear about the upcoming holidays. Moved to help in some way, she created a blog post about it, and something amazing happened. In less than a week, more than 700 people from all over the world, banded together and raised over $20,000 to help families in need.
Overwhelmed by the generosity of her blog fans, Jill created Scary Mommy Nation, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, dedicated to "making motherhood less scary, one mom at a time."
Not having enough food to feed your kids is scarier than being chased by zombies
"I can barely afford to feed my family. It’s humiliating."
Over 16 million children live in poverty in the United States, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty. That is 16 MILLION kids, who go to bed every night hungry. And not in some overseas, impoverished country you might see on the evening news--here in America. Our neighbors, our friends, our families.
Not only are more Americans under-employed, working for low wages and few hours, (if they are lucky enough to have a job), but with rising food prices and soaring costs of living expenses, one in six Americans just don't have access to enough food. The U.S. hunger-relief organization says that more than 50 million Americans live in "food insecure" households.
"What's so hard, is that a lot of families are working so hard," said Dr. Megan Sandel, an associate professor of pediatrics and public health at Boston Medical Center's Grow Clinic. "They are working jobs. They are earning money and their dollars just don't go far enough."
We can make a difference with pocket change
"I am so broke I went to get a food-box. They told me I make too much money and I just cried and cried. I have no food. "
With the percentage of children living in low-income families (both poor and near poor) on the rise – increasing from 40 percent in 2006 to 45 percent in 2011, it is becoming increasingly hard for ignore the fact that there are a lot of families out there who simply do not get to partake in the luxury that so many take for granted. That luxury? A real holiday meal.
Food pantries, soup kitchens, and other charities continually report shortages, especially around the holidays, and this year is expected to be more of the same. The basic need for food, simply to eat and feed one's children, grows higher and higher every year.
How you can make a difference
My husband just lost his job. I have no idea how we are going to put food on the table.
According to a report on USA Today, the average cost of a Thanksgiving meal is just under $50. To a lot of people, that amount may seem insignificant, but to a growing number of Americans, it can seem astronomical.
Help for those in need
"We are barely making ends meet, and have applied for all of the assistance out there, only to be turned away because we seem to have too much. We are struggling, so badly that we sometimes just sit and cry. We try to be positive for our little girl, but some days it's just horrible."
The people of Scary Mommy Nation believe that no family should be without on the holidays, and have, for this their third year, opened The Thanksgiving Project.
People needing assistance may apply for it here.
People wishing to donate toward the project may do so here.
More about Scary Mommy Nation's Thanksgiving Project
“There are no words for what your community is doing for my family. You have changed the entire season for me. You have no idea how very much this means to my family.”
"My husband was laid off in September and on his unemployment we aren't even able to begin to make ends meet. I used to worry about being able to afford to give them everything they want, now, I can’t even afford to give them what they need. From all of us out there struggling, it is so heartwarming knowing that other moms out there are so caring. Thank you so much. You have no idea how much it means."
“I needed the money so badly, as we were down to our last loaf of bread, but more than that, I needed a renewed faith in the kindness of people. You and your wonderful readers have given that to me– the greatest gift of all. God bless every one of you.”
Scary Mommy Nation is a registered 501(c)3 charity, so donations are fully tax deductible. All money donated goes directly to provide needy families with grocery store gift cards to be able to prepare and enjoy their own Thanksgiving Dinners.
The Thanksgiving Project
So far already this season, Scary Mommy Nation has raised over $22000, and while that is extraordinary, it's simply not enough to fulfill the need. Scary Mommy Nation reports that they still have several hundred families on the waiting list, and expect many more in the weeks to come.
Please help spread the word!