I highly recommend you take the food stamp challenge to see if you can live on $4.26 a day. I guarantee it will open your eyes to those experiencing food insecurity.
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity. You can do anything you decide to do.”
– Amelia Earhart
I think most of us aspire to make a difference – either in our careers, in the lives of our loved ones, or in our community.
But life, with all its complications and commitments, often seems to stand in the way.
Though we may have the best of intentions, we somehow never seem to find the time or energy to do all that we hope to do.
Like many of us, I often tell myself that I’ll be able to do more giving back later in my life. . .when my son is older. When my work is less busy. When I have fewer social commitments.
The trouble with “later” is that inevitably, something or someone new always appears. That hope for “later” becomes a mirage we continually chase.
What if I could do something NOW? Is there something I can do in my small snippets of free time that would still make a difference?
Right now, the St. Louis Area Foodbank needs your online vote to help us win a $60,000 grant. If we win, we will be able to provide more than 200,000 additional meals to families in need!
You can vote once a day at http://stlfoodbank.org/clickforacause. Just put MO in the search bar and vote for the St. Louis Area Foodbank. Then share with your friends and family and encourage them to vote too!
Then, as we continue to celebrate Hunger Action Month, I’m happy to say that there are a myriad of additional things I – and those like me – can do.
Here’s a list of small actions that require just a few moments to achieve, but still make a big impact. You can make a difference in the lives of the 1 in 8 people in our community who struggle with hunger.
- Take the Hunger Action Month pledge
- Like the St. Louis Area Foodbank on Facebook
- Follow the Foodbank on Twitter
- Change your Facebook or Twitter profile to orange
- Sign up for the Foodbank’s e-newsletter
- View hunger statistics for your county
- Set an empty plate at the dinner table to teach your kids about those at risk of hunger
- Post or tweet stats to encourage others to get involved
- Read real stories of the people you are helping
- Visit and read the Foodbank’s blog
- Register to vote and become a hunger advocate
- Watch the trailer for the film “A Place at the Table”
By Bethany Prange
St. Louis Area Foodbank Social Media Specialist
I watched my mom struggle to pay for groceries, birthday presents and back-to-school clothes for me and my two younger sisters.
Every month, The Daniel & Henry Co. makes a donation to one of our non-profit clients. In July, we chose the St. Louis Area Foodbank!
To encourage our employees and brokers to take part, we started the Jeans BeCause – Daniel and Henry Cares program.
When an employee makes a donation to the charity, they earn the chance to wear jeans to work once a month.
Don Hiemenz and Wes Mellow, the executives who nominated the Foodbank, matched the employee contributions dollar-for-dollar.
For her 8th birthday on August 7, Caitlin Kemp didn’t want a trip to the toy store. She didn’t ask to spend her special day at a museum or amusement park.
In fact, Caitlin passed on all the things one would expect an 8-year-old to ask for.
But this curly-haired little girl had just one special request on her birthday. She wanted to spend the day helping people.
Money raised by the campaign will go directly to SNAP recipients to increase their buying power at local producer-only farmers markets.
Sandra is battling breast cancer. But she is also battling hunger.
Last week, she skipped a chemotherapy treatment just so she could go to the Chester Area Christian Food Pantry to pick up the food she and her husband so desperately need.
And yet, Sandra doesn’t expect to take without giving back.
Sandra and her husband have a lush garden, so every time she comes to pick up food from the pantry, she brings in bags full of tomatoes and other vegetables.
She is just one of the many people in this small southern Illinois community who share what little they have with others in need.
Food pantry staff tell countless stories of families in need who bring in homegrown fruits and vegetables or handmade items, hoping to share their own bounties with other families in need.
Yesterday, at a food fair in Chester, Ill., Foodbank staff watched nearly 180 of these families in need wait patiently in line for hours for their share of food.
Some families lined up as early at 5 a.m., knowing the Foodbank truck wouldn’t arrive with food until after 10 a.m. They waited, in their cars, without complaint for nearly six hours.
This is a testament to how much these families truly need the food.
By 1 p.m., the nearly 20,000 pounds of food we delivered to Chester was gone, divided up amongst the families.
Every family I spoke with expressed gratitude for the food, and said without it, they would not have enough to eat.
They were also quick to tell me that when they get food from the pantry, if there is any extra or anything they can’t use, they share it with their neighbors in need.
Perhaps it is the common ground of hard times that motivates families in need to help one another. Or perhaps, they help each other when they can, simply because they want to pay it forward.
See some moving pictures from the Chester food fair here.
By Bethany Prange
Social Media Specialist
What I have found is that it isn’t just food that they are receiving, but the hope and knowledge that someone out there cares.
This month, the Missouri Corn Growers Association worked with Todd G. Glosemeyer Farms in Marthasville, Mo., to donate an entire acre of sweet corn to the Foodbank.
Frank Finnegan joined the St. Louis Area Foodbank as executive director in 1989.
Today, 25 years later, he continues to lead this remarkable nonprofit toward its goal of alleviating hunger in the bi-state region.
This brief interview offers insight from Finnegan on his role at the Foodbank and his ideas for the future.