There are an estimated 821 million people in the world who are regularly going hungry. That is an overwhelming statistic and it’s understandable how you might feel like one person couldn’t possibly make a difference in the fight against this crisis. Sometimes the hardest part is getting started. If you’re feeling stuck about how you can help, we’ve got a few ideas.
Little Things Add Up
First of all, give yourself permission to start small.
Begin by looking for ways to get involved in your local community. Connect with the organizations and individuals who are already doing this important work and ask what you can do to support them. Joshua’s Heart Foundation is a good example of how it is possible to help out locally. Founded by a 5-year-old boy in 2005, this organization—which has since served over 500,000 meals—mobilizes volunteers to support those in need and raise awareness about food insecurity.
To make an immediate impact in your area, pop your ZIP code into the Feed America Database to find a nearby food bank where you can volunteer your time by helping pack food, gardening, or educating the community. You can also help with gleaning, the gathering of surplus produce after a harvest to be donated to food banks. Food Forward has a database of gleaning organizations in North America.
Don’t Forget About Rural Communities
Rural communities in the United States are particularly vulnerable to food shortages. Limited access to high-quality and nutritious foods like fresh fruits and vegetables create so-called food deserts, often in impoverished areas with few grocery stores and other providers.
The Rural Health Information Hub provides a seven-module course on advocating for food access in rural areas. This includes education on the implementation of sustainable programs and spreading the word about what can be done to address food insecurity in local communities.
Help Others When You Treat Yourself
When considering stores and restaurants for your everyday purchases, research companies that donate a portion of their profits to end hunger or take an active role in solving these issues. The Kellogg’s cereal company has set up a program to encourage donations to food banks. Even something fun, like grabbing lunch out at Panera or indulging in a dessert at The Cheesecake Factory could help make a difference.
Open Your Wallet
Making a donation might feel uninspired, but the truth is that a financial gift is one of the most effective ways to make a difference. Your local food bank would be grateful for any contribution. Nonprofit organizations like Feeding America have the ability to stretch every dollar donated to provide the most meals. They also work with manufacturers, retailers, and farmers to connect food-insecure people with fresh foods, rather than canned goods. And your donation is tax-deductible.
Ready to give a little (or a lot)? You can make a one time gift or set up an automatic donation. Regular donations to programs like Tony Robbins’ “1 Billion Meals Challenge” can help you become a part of something big.
We already know that you can make a difference, but once you’ve taken your first steps, you’ll start believing it, too! Once you get in a groove, you can start to think bigger. Perhaps you could organize a group from your workplace to help package meals? Or plan a fundraiser in your community? Get creative and remember there are no limits to what you can do!
And, of course, don’t forget that Nunbelievable has created another way you can help. For every 12-count box of our delectable cookies that you buy, we’ll donate two meals to our partner soup kitchens. Click here to get 15% off when you order now!