This is a sponsored post brought to you by ConAgra Foods and The Motherhood. All opinions are – as always – honest and my own.
We talked a couple of weeks ago about the staggering number of children who are food-insecure each summer. Without access to free and reduced-price meals during the school year, some are spending the summer wondering where their next meal is coming from.
So what we can we do about it?
Plenty. And it doesn’t have to be a big, expensive process. If we each take a few small action steps, we can make a huge difference in the number of hungry kids in our local areas.
Get your own kids involved.
Chances are good that they know a child who is struggling. As much as we want to shelter them from the ugly side of life, we need to have these tough conversations with our kids. Awareness is the first step in solving a problem. So let’s talk about it. Let’s explain that there are kids who don’t have a pantry and fridge full of food. Let’s decide as a family to lend a hand. Then let’s get our kids involved in helping.
Just donate a few items.
Most of us have a set grocery budget. And most of us work really hard to feed our families healthy food while staying within that budget. But I’m guessing some of us have a few dollars of wiggle room. Maybe we have enough to pick up a few jars of peanut butter or some granola bars or cereal to drop off at the food pantry. We don’t have to donate a whole week’s worth of food in order to make a difference. If we all donate something, think of what that could add up to!
Raid your own pantry.
If you look in your pantry right now, I’m guessing you could find at least 3 things that you could donate. I’m not talking about that funky food with the expiration date looming. I’m talking about canned fruit or boxed mac ‘n cheese. Why not grab a few items and donate them?
Use your coupons.
If you’re a couponer, clip the coupons you don’t think your family will need and stash them in an envelope. Then watch the sales for those items, and use your coupons to get them for next-to-nothing. Foods that you don’t regularly eat might be something that someone else can use.
Find convenient drop-off locations.
Many grocery stores and big box stores have started putting out donation boxes for local food pantries. I can’t think of an easier way to donate than that! Keep an eye out for these donation boxes. Then, when you’re shopping at those stores, grab a couple of extra items to put in the box on the way out the door.
Our church has a food donation basket in the foyer of the sanctuary. People can drop off food and personal care items when they come. Then a couple from our church takes the donations on to the food pantry each week. If your church doesn’t have a drop-off box, maybe you can be the one to get that started.
Watch the Child Hunger Ends Here video.
I know it sounds silly to sit in front of your computer and watch a video. But it really will help. For every view or share of the video, ConAgra will donate one meal to Feeding America. So click here, watch the video, and then share it like crazy. Get everyone you know to watch it. Let’s see how many meals we can get donated to help kids this summer.
Talk to other people about the problem.
Almost everyone I’ve talked to about the problem of summer hunger has been surprised. As soon as I explain the issue of kids not having access to food assistance programs at school, they get it! And most of them want to help. The key is spreading the word, letting people know that there IS a problem. Then we can all work together to help.
To stay connected and learn about other ways that you can help, be sure to follow ConAgra Foods on Facebook and Twitter. You can also use Feeding America’s Food Bank Locator tool to help you find local help (or a local place to help).