This post is brought to you by Child Hunger Ends Here and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.
Food. Water. Shelter. Those are the three basic needs for human survival. At least that’s what they taught us in elementary school. Food. Water. Shelter. In the United States, 15 million children aren’t getting enough of at least one of those basic human needs. 1 in 5 children woke up this morning and went to school still feeling the gnawing pain of hunger. 1 in 5 children will go to bed tonight with an empty tummy.
Food-insecure households exist in every single state in the US. In every single county. Hungry children come from all walks of life. We think we know what hunger looks like. We think a child has to have a dirty face, dirty clothes, parents who just don’t care. We think wrong. The single mom living next door to you in the 3-bedroom house may be choosing between keeping a roof over her children’s head and serving three meals a day. The two-income family down the street may be struggling under the weight of medical bills, sacrficing breakfast and lunch to pay for life-saving medications. Child hunger does not have a single face. It’s all around us. 15 million children are hungry right now. Isn’t it time we do something about it?
5 Ways You Can END Child Hunger Right Now
I get it: we all have our struggles. Some of us work 12 hours a day just to keep food in our own children’s bellies. Here’s great news, though: ending child hunger doesn’t have to be complicated. While I absolutely encourage you to volunteer at a local food bank or donate financially when you can, there are plenty of things you and your family can do right now that don’t cost a lot of money or take up time you may not have after dealing with your own struggles. I want to make helping as simple as possible so everyone can get involved. Take a look at these easy ways to help and make an impact today.
Donate to a food pantry
Just about every region has a food pantry to serve those in need. These pantries try to make the donation process as easy as they can, allowing you to drop off food at many locations. Just call your local pantry and ask about their needs and drop off locations. You don’t have to fill up grocery bags to make an impact. Every little bit helps. Even if it’s just a few extra cans of food from your pantry.
Want to donate more? The next time you go shopping, take along the list of most-needed food from your pantry. Pick up a few items off the list- whatever you can afford. Clip coupons and take advantage of sales to help boost your donation.
Grocery Shop for a Cause
Did you ever notice that red pushpin icon on many of ConAgra’s products, like Marie Callender’s® and Hunt’s®? When you buy an item with that symbol, go home and enter the code on the Child Hunger Ends Here website. They’ll donate one meal to hungry kids for each code. Make sure you look for packages that have both the symbol and the code. Some products just have the symbol to draw attention to the campaign. I love this campaign because I’m already buying the food, so it only takes a little extra effort to enter the codes and help feed a hungry child. Grab this handy shopping list to remind you which brands are participating.
Watch & Share This Video from Kid President
Here’s one way you can help that takes two minutes of your time (1:59 for the video and a second to hit the share button). I absolutely adore Kid President Bobby Novak, and I love even more that he’s partnered with ConAgra to end child hunger! Just watch the video, then share it with your family and friends on social media. Even if you just view it, ConAgra will donate one meal to kids in need. Share it and that doubles to two meals.
Get your kids involved in helping other kids
Let your own kids inspire you! Kids actually love getting involved in helping other kids. Even better, they often have some great ideas that we grown-ups don’t really think about. Tap into your children’s innate creativity and ask them for their ideas on raising money or donating food to families in need. Ask them to help you keep a lookout for the red pushpin in the grocery store, or to go through your pantry to find good food to donate. By raising conscientious kids, we’re setting the groundwork for a brighter future. They’ll carry your message on through the next generation.
Share a Meal
If you know a family that is particularly struggling to put food on the table, invite them over for a meal. Obviously you’re not going to invite strangers over, but you may be surprised at how many people close to you are struggling. My dear friend fell on very rough times. Her son and my son were close friends, so I invited him over for the whole day as often as possible during the summer, and during the dinner hours the rest of the year. You might feel like you’re not doing a lot, but to that one child who goes home full, you’re doing all the good in the world.
Learn more about the issue of child hunger and ways to get involved by visiting childhungerendshere.com and click on the “How You Can Help” tab. If you are struggling to keep food on your table, please use the find your local food bank tool. I know what it’s like. I’ve been in that situation. Your food bank WILL help you. Follow ConAgra Foods on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for even more tips and news.
#ChildHungerEndsHere Twitter Party
If you’re reading this before 2PM today (April 19th, 2016), come join us at the #ChildHungerEndsHere Twitter Party! Follow The Motherhood cofounders @coopermunroe and @EmilyMcKhann, along with The Motherhood handles @TMChatHost and @theMotherhood. They’ll be sharing more great ways to end child hunger plus giving $25 Visa gift cards throughout the event. RSVP Here.
Don’t forget: view or share this video from Kid President to help raise awareness for child hunger. For each of these actions, ConAgra will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America, up to 100,000 meals.