Recently, I’ve been reading a lot about The FEED Foundation and the work they’re doing. Created by Lauren Bush Lauren, FEED started when she designed a bag to benefit the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) School Feeding program. As a WFP Honorary Spokesperson, she was inspired to help by the plight of the people she met traveling. The first FEED 1 bag created being used to help raise funds and awareness around the school feeding operations. The first bag was stamped FEED to signify it was used to feed one student for one year.
To date, FEED has been able to raise enough money through the sale of products to provide over 60 million school meals to children around the world through WFP. FEED has also partnered with the US Fund for UNICEF, raising much-needed funds for their Vitamin A and micronutrient supplements program and providing over 46,000 children with essential nutrients.
FEED Foundation is dedicated to supporting programs and organizations that are effectively working to fight hunger and eliminate malnutrition throughout the world.
Last night, I ran across the FEED display in my local Target and bought coffee cups. My small, first, purchase from this organization. As a child, I remember my Grandmother having “adopted” a child in Africa and was sending money monthly to ensure they were fed and had access to medical care. I have friends who do the same thing through another organization. My husband and I have organizations we donate to as well. However, I’m also a firm believer in voting with my dollars. That’s what I did last night and I’m paying it forward again, by sharing here.
But, it goes further than that. I live in America. Land of the Free. Home of the Brave. The largest superpower in the WORLD. Yet, 1 in 6 Americans are affected by hunger. While I’m certainly not an expert and can only research this topic to share accurate information, my friend Dresden from Creating Motherhood is someone I consider an expert. You see, she’s lived it. She and her mother were homeless. They lived in a car. And even on the food stamp program, they would skip breakfast to ensure her son had enough to eat to make their SNAP benefit stretch the entire month. Dresden and her Mother are two of the hardest working people you’ll ever meet, however they fell on hard times. It happens. And it makes me die a little inside to think about someone I love in this situation. With the changes to the Farm Bill and the SNAP Benifit (food stamps) she covers on her blog, I’m more than a little concerned the gap is going to close to a 1 in 5 or 1 in 4 number.
Over 50 million Americans are struggling with hunger.
What can we do? There is so much, I’m swimming over here just reading about all the ways to take action. We’ve got to be advocates. Because you never know when something could happen to someone you love and they could be in a food insecure situation, due to lack of money, loss of job, medical crisis… anything could happen.
This map links to Feeding America.
The statistics from 2011 in North Carolina are sobering:
- 19.3% of all people in NC were food insecure
- 1,863,330 persons
Income Bands within the food insecure population:
- 67% below SNAP, Other Nutrition Programs threshold of 200% poverty
- 33% above SNAP, Other Nutrition Programs threshold of 200% poverty
The numbers don’t lie and quite frankly, I don’t know where to start. Right now, I’m having a difficult time wrapping my head around the staggering statistics as I go from state to state. But, I know I have to start somewhere. Using my voice here is a good one.
Read more of Dresden’s story, as well as others, here:
Feeding America http://feedingamerica.org/get-involved.aspx