Did you know that September is Hunger Action Month? I hope you did, because the 48 million people that go to bed hungry every night are really counting on you to get involved. While it’s important to get involved in helping EVERY month of the year, during September, Feeding America really amps things up to get the word out.

Helping to end hunger is as easy as purchasing your favorite foods and entering codes. Check out all the amazing companies who are working towards putting an end to hunger in America.

Let me say upfront, this is not a sponsored post.  It’s something that matters to me greatly because I was a “food insecure” household not all that long ago. I know what it’s like to need a food bank. Without one, I would have been faced with the decision of keeping a roof over our heads or food in our stomachs. It’s not a fun place to be. I’m so relieved that things have turned around for me, but for 1 in 6 people, they’re still waiting for the tides to turn. Without organizations like Feeding America, I have no idea what I would have done. I don’t even want to think about it.

How Can You Help During Hunger Action Month

Helping get food into the hands of the 48 million Americans (that number is so shocking to me, I have to repeat it) is actually a lot easier than you may think it is. There are SO many ways that you can help, and most of them won’t cost you anything extra than you’re already spending for your own food. I’ve done a bit of research into the different companies and products running campaigns during Hunger Action Month. Most of the information comes from the Feeding America website, but I also searched through press releases and news to find a few other sources that weren’t listed on their site.

One thing I want to note: Just $0.10 is enough for one meal through Feeding America. I don’t know how they do it, but that’s all it takes. So when a company donates $0.10, they’re donating one meal. $1 equals 10 meals. Keep that in mind as you read about the different programs and campaigns.

Products & Companies that Help Feed the Hungry

  • Cheeky: For every package of Cheeky Spoontember products that you buy during September, Cheeky will donate the equivalent of one meal to Feeding America. They will also donate $0.10 for every Tweet or Instagram photo that includes the following three handles and hashtag: #Spoontember @FeedingAmerica @Cheeky_Home (up to $2,500).
  • Outnumber Hunger with General Mills: General Mills will donate $0.50 for each code entered from their specially marked package, now through 1/31/2016, up to $1.2M. Learn more about participating products and other ways you can trigger donations at  www.OutnumberHunger.com. I’m going to check my cabinet and fridge now because I know we have at least 10 participating products in there.
  • Child Hunger Ends Here with ConAgra Foods: ConAgra Foods, which encompasses dozens of delicious household names (including my son’s favorite Act II popcorn), also has a program where you can enter codes from specially marked packages to trigger a donation of a meal. Learn more  at  www.childhungerendshere.com/
  • Donate Meals with Perdue: Perdue will donate 4 ounces of protein to Feeding America when you redeem special coupons for savings from now through 12/31/15. So basically, you save money AND help feed the hungry. Pretty awesome, Perdue! They’ll also be donating $50K outright to support Feeding America food banks.
  • Bank of America: During Hunger Action Month and through December 31st, 2015, Bank of America will give $2 for every $1 that you give. Learn more at http://bankofamerica.com/give.
  • Round Up From the Heart with Pampered Chef: Pampered Chef, makers of pretty much the coolest kitchen stuff on the planet, encourages Cooking Show guests to round up their orders to the nearest dollar. The extra money is donated to Feeding America. They also have two special Round-Up from the Heart® 2015 Soup Bowls. When you purchase them, Pampered Chef donates $2 per bowl to Feeding America (or $4 per set). That’s equal to 20-40 meals!
  • Cheesecake Factory: Indulge in a sweet, delicious slice of their featured flavor between now and 7/28/2016, and The Cheesecake Factory will donate $0.25 to Feeding America. Cheesecake Factory has already donated close to $3M in the past and promises a minimum of $375,000 from this particular campaign.
  • Newtons A Lot of Fruit to Give: Enter codes from specially marked Newtons (as in Fig Newtons) products and they’ll donate $0.30 to Feeding America to help get more fresh fruits into the hands of hungry children. Learn more here.
  • Unilever “Buy, Save, Give”: From September 18 through September 25, 2015, Unilever will donate 5 meals for each Stop & Shop card, Giant card, BONUSCARD and Peapod transaction of promoted Knorr products.
  • One for One with 2 Degrees: 2 Degrees snack bars was actually the first food company to do a 1-for-1 concept. It’s quite simple: for every product your buy, they’ll give a meal to Feeding America.
  • True Citrus: Enter UPC codes at www.truecitrus.com and they’ll donate a meal to Feeding America. Plus, purchase items through their TrueLemon store to trigger additional donations. I’ve always used the lemon and lime juice, but I had no idea they made so many other products.  I just requested their free sample packs so I can try their drink mixes!
  • Panera Bread: Aside from making the best Asiago cheese bagel on the planet, Panera Bread has a long history of helping the hungry. Many stores donate their day-end baked goods to local shelters and the homeless. They also have a Panera Bread Community Breadbox™ where customers can place donations. 50% of those donations in numerous locations (it depends on the franchise owner) will go to Feeding America directly, while the other 50% goes towards getting Panera products into the food pantries. Check out Panera’s Positive Impact food policy to learn more.
  • P.F. Chang’s Ricegivingsm: The restaurant chain teamed up with rice farmers to donate one bowl of rice to Feeding America for every entree purchased throughout September. Learn more here.
  • AmazonSmile: When you shop Amazon through AmazonSmile, a portion of your purchase goes towards SecondHarvest Food Bank.
  • foodtweeks™– The foodtweeks™ app helps you save calories by making little “tweeks” to your food choices, and when you “bank” a certain amount of calories, they’ll donate meals to a food bank of your choice (from a list of participating banks). If you share your tweeks, they’ll double or triple the donation. It’s actually a pretty cool app.

Other companies provided amazing donations to Feeding America so the organization could give grants to food banks around the nation. These include ABC/Disney, Safeway Foundation in partnership with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, Tyson, Family Dollar Stores, Walmart,  HoneyBaked and many more local and national companies.

Visit the Feeding America’s Ways to Give section for more ideas on how you can help feed America’s 48 million hungry during Hunger Action Month and every month.

Finally, I tried to be really thorough here and searched for like 15 different terms to find everyone I possibly could that had easy ways for you to help feed the hungry during Hunger Action Month and beyond. If you know of a campaign that I missed, please let me know so I can add it to the list. The point is, you CAN help give back even if you don’t have extra cash to donate. Simply by supporting companies that donate to organizations like Feeding America and taking a few seconds to enter codes or send out a tweet, you CAN make a difference.

That big number is growing. The last numbers I saw were 45.3 million people, or 1 in 7. Now it’s 48 million and 1 in 6. MORE people are going hungry, which means we have to work harder. We live in a first world nation, we’re supposed to be one of the richest countries in the world. Why are 1 out of every 6 of our own people hungry? That’s just incomprehensible to me. It needs to change. Now.