Take Action Against Hunger
According to the hunger relief charity, Feeding America, September is “Hunger Action Month.” Too often when we think of hunger we think of third world countries. Perhaps images of small children with distended bellies have come across your television set late at night and certainly those images can permeate our cells and have a lasting impact on our world view. But did you know that in America there are close to fifty million people who are challenged with hunger? These are our neighbors, friends, fellow community members who often struggle silently hoping their situation will soon change for the better or praying that can quietly find temporary relief from a local food bank. Given the abundance of food in this country, this statistic is truly unacceptable.
In the United States roughly 17% of children come from a household where food is scarce. We call this “food insecurity.” For some of these children, free school lunch programs are literally “lifesavers” and may be the only food they receive for the day. When children (and adults) do not get enough nutrition, they are at increased risk for weakened immune systems and negative mental, emotional, and physical health states. In fact, food insecurity is associated with increased risk for diabetes, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety, and stunted development.
If you are wondering how you can give back or looking for ways to add more meaning to your life and you are in a position to donate time or financial support, there is no time like the present. Donate food, volunteer at a food bank and/or donate money and you’ll be making a huge difference in the lives of others. And just because September is Hunger Action Month, don’t stop at the end of the month. Commit to being part of the solution. Spread the word and get friends and family involved with the cause. Visit the FeedingAmerica.org website and look up your local food bank. Spread awareness through social networking (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). And take a stand.
Get creative. Organize a food drive. Dedicate proceeds from a garage sale to the local food bank. If you are a small business owner, see if you can rally employees to help contribute to the cause as a company. Consider giving paid time off to volunteer at the Food Bank. Ask yourself, am I compensating my employees with fair wages? Can I add any new jobs? Unemployment and poverty are two of the most likely factors that contribute to hunger, so putting people to work is another great way to help get closer to ending this epidemic.
Finally, when it comes to food donations, please consider giving healthy, nutritious foods whenever possible. Only donate food that you would feed yourself and your family. Avoid foods with artificial sweeteners and flavorings, colorings, and so forth. Choose whole grain products whenever possible. In other words, donate real food. Share the gift of healthy, whole foods and you’ll not only help fill someone’s belly, you’ll help feed their soul.
For the rest of 2012, Optimum Wellness will donate $5 to Food Bank of the Rockies with every copy of Colorado Fit Kitchen sold. Click here to get your copy today.