While millions of people have loaded up their shopping carts with toilet paper and all the canned goods they can find, millions more throughout the country don’t have the option to buy foods in bulk or very much food at all. There are of course people in need year-round, but according to Lisa Davis, senior vice president of No Kid Hungry, there is an even greater need right now.
“Millions of vulnerable children are losing the healthy meals they depend on as the [COVID-19] closes schools nationwide,” says Davis. “As of [March 17], 39 states had closed schools entirely. When you add in the districts closed in other states it means 41.6 million kids, or 4 out of 5 kids, are out of school.” Even in areas where the schools are still open, many businesses are currently closed, which means hourly workers who may already be struggling to make ends meet are being hit hard.
If you are in a position to help, Davis says there are several ways to do so. “First, speak up! We can urge Congress to pass emergency SNAP funding for low-income families and empower community response,” she says, adding that it just takes a quick call to your state representatives to support this initiative. Davis says that another way to help is rallying your virtual community, creating Facebook fundraisers. (You can use this link to easily start an online fundraiser that supports No Kid Hungry.)
And of course making donations to local food banks is an easy way to help as well. Besides giving non-perishable food items, items including feminine hygiene products, toothpaste, soap, and toilet paper (come on hoarders, you can spare a roll) are all good items to donate. School supplies are also a need as more kids will be doing schoolwork from home instead of in the classroom.
Local food banks are a great place to give a donation right now
With 200 food banks (where goods are stored) and 60,000 food pantries (where goods can be picked up) across the country, there’s a good chance that there’s a Feeding America drop-off site near you. To receive donations, nothing is required and no questions are asked.
Food Rescue US is great because it helps donate fresh food to those in need, including lots of healthy proteins and produce. Many restaurants across the country are now open for pick-up service only, which sadly means that a lot of food may go to waste. If you work in the restaurant industry, instead of throwing out your extra food, consider donating it to Food Rescue US, which will repurpose it into delicious meals for those in need.
For those unable to physically go to food pantries, Meals On Wheels is an important resource, bringing food right to people in need. Because seniors are most at risk for COVID-19, Meals On Wheels is especially a valuable resource right now. You can donate money or volunteer your time in your city.
Feed The Children has long provided food and resources working through the public school system and are of course continuing to do so now with many schools not being in session. While the organization doesn’t accept food, you can donate monetarily through its site.
You can help contribute to No Kid Hungry’s efforts by fundraising, organizing donation drives through your workplace, and contacting elected officials. Visit its site for more information.
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