Hunger is 365 Days a Year (not just holidays!)
Hunger exists 365 days a year not just during the holiday season. Food donations slow down to dribbles in the spring and then a drought during the summer months. The highest need for food donations occur during the summer months because of the large participation gap between the National School Lunch Program and the Summer Feeding Program.
During the school year, 22 million children rely on the National School Lunch Program for a steady and predictable lunch. In the summer, this daily meal disappears for approximately 82% of those children due to transportation, location of summer feeding programs, unsafe areas, and weather. Parents are forced to stretch their tight budgets and rely on food pantries. Let’s work together to end hunger all year long.
5 ways you can donate to end hunger today:
1| Donate your passion!
What are you passionate about? Everyone has something unique to offer the world. People come to our food pantry to sort, pack, or distribute food. The Al Beech West Side Food Pantry empowers volunteers to lead with their passion to fight hunger with dignity. When people lead with their passion, dignity is cultivated.
- Student allowed to practice instruments during client pick up.
- Photography of our free farmer’s market to help bring awareness to our program and mission.
- A senior gentleman built new shelves to ensure safety of our volunteers.
- A retired senior and Master Gardener donated time to teach children how to run our small food pantry garden.
- A college student helped edit articles for the promotion of the food pantry.
2| Don’t Let Garden Surplus Rot
Consider dropping off your garden surplus. One cucumber can change the world. If everyone dropped off one piece of produce, we would be able to feed many people.
3| Know the Right Foods
Food pantries appreciate nourishing non-perishable canned foods such as tuna, chicken, beef, salmon, peanut butter, beans, fruits, and vegetables that contain no added salt or sugar. It is always best to buy canned items with a pull-tab to open with ease. Plastic containers are preferred over glass. Toiletries most appreciated by clients include: tooth brushes, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, toilet paper, feminine hygiene, and diapers.
4| FREE Plastic Grocery Bags
Plastic grocery bags are free and needed to pack up the food for the clients receiving the food donations.
5| Spend Time in Parks
Summer Feeding Programs need volunteers. Reach out to you local food bank to find a Summer Feeding Program near you. Without volunteers to distribute the lunch, the programs cannot run and many children rely on this meal.
Hunger is real for 1 in 6 children in the United States. Together we can change the world and be the voice many children need.