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 Education & Wellness.
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. Donate Food for a Collective Impact
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 continually on the rise, as well as the number of people who need support increasing, however, donated food is only 29% of our total food distribution!
September 16: Drive-Thru Food Drive & Color Some Kindness
Join us for a community effort to collect 10,000 pounds of donated food in September for Hunger Action Month. We are hosting a Drive-Thru Food Drive on Saturday, September 16, from 9:00am to Noon at our location in Exton (650 Pennsylvania Dr, in the Eagleview Corporate Center). We’re also hosting Color Some Kindness in our volunteer room the same day. After you’ve dropped off your food donation, we invite you to unleash your creativity at our coloring stations. Help us decorate boxes for our Grocery Box program with inspirational messages of hope. Markers and crayons provided – just bring your imagination. Color Some Kindness is open to everyone (no registration required.)
Our most needed items are:
- Canned Tuna, Salmon & Chicken
- Canned Vegetables no/low sodium
- Soup pop-top appreciated
- Crackers whole grain
- Can Openers
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.
2. Practice Acts of Advocacy
The heart of Hunger Action Month lies in raising awareness and empowering the community to act. 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 impacted thousands of Pennsylvanians to suffer from food insecurity, 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 fight food insecurity! September 19th 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 7) is October 23, 2023. Don’t delay. Register today!
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, or 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 Our Monthly Giving Community – 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. And be sure to check if your employer offers a matching incentive so you can double your impact!
5. Go Orange for Hunger Action Day – September 15
On Hunger Action Day, everyone is encouraged to wear orange on Friday, September 15, 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, every action – big or small – supports the Chester County Food Bank to further our work in our community!
The Chester County Food Bank is the central hunger relief organization serving more than 160 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.