5 Ways to Make the Most of Hunger Action Month
At the Chester County Food Bank, we’re working year-round to end hunger and food insecurity in our communities. No matter the season, we’re mobilizing our staff and volunteers to make a difference in the lives of our neighbors in need, from Simple Suppers to nutrition education.
That said, September is a preview to the giving season, as it’s Hunger Action Month, a wide-reaching initiative from Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. For us, food insecurity is a priority day in and day out; still, September gives us a chance to address issues of hunger in a more high-profile way.
There are plenty of ways to get involved in Hunger Action Month this year, but here are five that can help you to make the most of it:
1. Practice Acts of Advocacy
Advocacy is central to what we do at the Food Bank. We count on public support to help further our mission and accomplish our goals, and without a network of allies to help us spread the word about our work, we’d be in trouble. We can organize and take action, but to make the biggest impact, we need our supporters to help share the important message about how hunger affects those living in our cities and towns.
During Hunger Action Month, you can also practice advocacy in the following ways:
- Join us in speaking out for the importance of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. SNAP is crucial for so many in the Commonwealth. Recently introduced federal rules will cause thousands of Pennsylvanians to suffer from hunger, Food Banks and the charitable food network to strain to meet increased demand, and retailers and food producers to lose profits and experience a more constrained customer base. Learn more about SNAP and how your vote matters in protecting these important programs.
- Prepare to use your voting power to stave off hunger! September 20th is #NationalVoterRegistrationDay and it is easier than ever to register in Pennsylvania! Residents can register online or check their registration status by visiting VotesPA.com. The last day to register in time to vote (November 8) is October 24th. Don’t delay, register today!
2. Donate Food
Donated food is an integral part of our distribution to our network of over 160 food cupboards and social service agencies so they can serve those in need in our community. Unfortunately, with grocery prices on the rise as well as the number of people that need support increasing, our food donations are down 27 percent! Now is the perfect time to donate food or host a food drive. Check out our food drive toolkit to get started! Working remotely? Host a virtual food drive! Rather than bringing people together in person or encouraging them to go out shopping for a traditional food drive, you can host a virtual food drive, Individual or Team fundraiser through our online platform. Your financial gift enables us to purchase the most needed foods including fresh fruits and vegetables.
3. Sign Up to Volunteer
Whether you’re new to CCFB or you’ve been a supporter for years, we’d love to have you pitch in as a volunteer. If you like to cook, garden, work with children or just spend some social time with others helping out a good cause, there is an opportunity waiting for you at the Food Bank! Commitments range from one afternoon-long session to ongoing shifts — it’s completely up to you and your availability! Come alone or as part of a team. See here for sign up info.
4. Join Beyond Hunger 365
For the cost of one fancy coffee, you can help feed a neighbor in our community. We appreciate every single monetary donation and every item of food that comes to us from fundraisers and one-time donations. But, to carry on our mission to the best of our ability, we’re looking for a group of supporters who are passionate about changing the face of hunger in our county to pledge a consistent amount each month. Hunger Action Month is a great time to become a part of our Beyond Hunger 365 monthly giving community.
5. Go Orange for Hunger Action Day – September 23
On Hunger Action Day, everyone is encouraged to wear orange on Friday, September 23, to raise awareness for those struggling with food insecurity. Share photos on social media – make sure to tag us on our Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn using #HungerActionMonth #ChesterCountyFoodBank
No matter how you choose to get involved, make Hunger Action Month a time that you look forward to each September to help Chester County Food Bank further our work in the community!
The Chester County Food Bank is the central hunger relief organization serving more than 120 food cupboards, meal sites and social service organizations throughout Chester County. We mobilize our community to ensure access to real, healthy food.
Photos: Chester County Food Bank
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.