For the last week of November, we are highlighting Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month and educating our audience on the widespread nature of food insecurity in our community!
Each week in November, we will be highlighting a new national observance for the month, drawing attention to various important causes. Follow along all month long to learn, take action, and spread the word!
November is Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Month, an important time of year to recognize the scarcity of food in our communities and do more to help all have a happy and healthy holiday season.
This is an annual awareness month where people across the country draw attention to the problems of hunger and homelessness through educational, service, fundraising and advocacy events. The weeks and days leading up to Thanksgiving are important, as it is a perfect time to share our compassion for our neighbors who are experiencing homelessness and food insecurity, and work toward a world where no one has to experience homelessness and hunger.
For many families, November is a month filled with Thanksgiving dinners, family gatherings and the kick-off of holiday shopping. Yet, for millions of people, their reality couldn’t be further from these festivities. The National Runaway Switchboard estimates that on any given night, there are approximately 1.3 million homeless youth living unsupervised on the streets, in abandoned buildings, or with friends or strangers.
Almost 48 million Americans, including 16 million children, live in homes that are unable to provide nutritious food on a regular basis, falling into the category of food insecurity. This term references the inability to provide nutritionally adequate food on a consistent basis for families or individuals.
Food insecurity exists in approximately 17.2 million households in America. Of these homes, 3.9 million of them contain children. It may be hard to believe, but food insecurity truly exists in every state, county, and town in America and does not discriminate, proving that anyone can go hungry.
Many Americans live paycheck to paycheck. The struggle to keep the basic needs fulfilled is a daily obstacle. It takes only one misstep – an illness, injury or temporary job loss – to place many of us on the path to poverty, hunger, even homelessness. In the United States, over 42 million Americans live below the poverty level. Of those, 1 in 5 are children living in poverty. Just over a half-million have nowhere to sleep at night.
All year long, food pantries, shelters, and other service organizations need support. They provide food, secure places to sleep, and other aid to those who need it most. These organizations require financial and service donations. Whether they are providing meals, clean towels, socks, or a place to rest, they’re vital to communities. Their services connect people to resources they may otherwise go without!
Ways to Get Involved:
– Volunteering at a food bank or soup kitchen is a perfect opportunity to help out in your community and alleviate hunger to those who are struggling. Food banks often need help with packing or unpacking boxes and stocking shelves this time of year and volunteers are almost always needed!
– Soup kitchens need people to help prepare and serve food as well, giving a more personal experience helping out others.
– Also, holding a food drive can be a big help as well. Simply make sure to check with a food bank to see what types of donations are accepted, as some places won’t accept fresh food or produce.
– Lastly, donating to any hunger alleviation cause will benefit the community just as well as the other methods. By providing resources with donations, you will be aiding them in their mission.
As a society, we can come together to eradicate hunger and food insecurity!