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Feed Them

Millions of people everyday have to make hard choices most of us cannot imagine having to make. They must choose between buying food, paying for shelter, getting medical care or medicine. They do not have the luxury of cabinets, refrigerators and freezers with food in them every month. Are you ready to MAD?

Statistics

When chasing down where the money goes each month, families all know the second largest expense is food (right behind housing). Everyday 30% of families have to make a choice between food and medical care or medicine.

While we see television and internet commercials for overseas hunger problems, what is not advertised are the hungry people in the United States. More than 35 million Americans go without sufficient food because they do not have enough money and resources.

12.5 million children go hungry everyday.

As many as 25% of school children will only get one meal today. It will be served in a school cafeteria.

Many of the soup kitchens still in operation serve as many as 1,000 meals per week. One quarter (250) of those meals will be served to a child. Soup kitchens need volunteers all year, but especially during holidays and winter.

96 billion pounds of food are wasted yearly.

We throw away enough food to feed…

48 million people for a year

Remember what you were told when you did not clean your plate of veggies? How many people are hungry? Hmm…

Make A Difference

You can absolutely make a difference in the hunger situation.

1. Locate the nearest organization which supports the hungry. Try places like:

  • Food banks or pantries
  • Homeless and abuse shelters
  • Soup kitchens (community, military or faith-based)

What do they need?

2. Volunteer. Even organizations with plenty of supplies do not have enough hands to distribute food.

  • Serve food.
  • Deliver food to shut-ins and senior centers.
  • Pick up food from retail centers.

3. Donate food. Go through your pantry. Dried and canned food you have had more than a month can go to feed the hungry. Only shop by the week? Pick up three food items per person in your household to donate. Do you know what to buy?

  • Peanut butter and preserves
  • Canned meat and fish
  • Canned fruit and vegetables
  • Rice
  • Beans
  • Pasta
  • Tomato products
  • Oatmeal and cereal
  • Baby food and formula
  • Powdered and evaporated milk
  • Flour and sugar
  • Powdered drink mix
  • Nuts
  • Dried fruit
  • Juice (not cocktail) and nectar
  • Soups

Think of the ingredients you use at home, not just corn and green beans. Think about good sources of vitamins and minerals, like mushrooms, olives, salmon, asparagus, spinach, banana chips, yogurt covered fruits, apricots, pineapple,… Look at your own shopping list for ideas.

4. Host or support a food drive. Get your friends, colleagues, teammates, family and random strangers to donate canned goods or non-perishable food items. Deliver them to a distribution center.

5. Purchase and give gift cards. Homeless people have no place to store canned goods. Give them a gift certificate to a fast food restaurant. Carry one in your wallet. When you see someone homeless, be spontaneous and give.

6. Donate money. Food banks need to give perishable goods to families with children. Money buys fresh milk, meat, bread, eggs, cheese, fruit and vegetables. With a discount, a little money goes a long way to curbing hunger.

7. Make a meal. Do you know someone who struggles with hunger? Make a meal. Invite them to eat with you or bring it to them.

MAD for Hunger

It is your turn to MAD.

Most of us cannot appreciate what it feels like to go hungry for a day, much less for weeks at a time. Hunger robs a body of its natural defenses, making the choice between food and medical care even harder to make. Hunger can deplete bones of calcium, causing osteoporosis, hair loss, tooth loss and decay in very young people. Hunger causes fatigue.

Ever had an energy or candy bar to pick yourself up in the middle of a long day? What if there was nothing for a snack? Imagine going home to nothing to eat at all. Make a difference. You will appreciate what you have to eat as the blessing it is.


~~~~~~~~~~

Do you MAD for hunger now? When was the last time you donated to a food bank or homeless shelter to provide food for the hungry? Can you commit to Make A Difference for hunger this week? 

(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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37 Comments

  1. Done…oh wait I am doing that. ha. Great post.
    Bearman recently posted..Linus Van Pelt on HoardersMy Profile

    Reply
  2. Good post :)
    Angie recently posted..I Princess!My Profile

    Reply
  3. Grazie Red,
    I love that I “get” to give today—simply because I am capable. Fantastic post. Blessings

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 10, 2012

      Thank you, Lisa. There are quite a few of us who remember how fortunate we are to be in a position to give. Glad to see you today.

      Reply
  4. Red, IMHO it is a crime against humanity that children worldwide are starving and homeless while political games are being played with economics, playing Buzz Lightyear in space, endlessly spending trillions on war, stroking very big egos, and collecting profit and obscene wealth at the expense of humanity and the earth itself. We need a quantum change in thinking, and a different direction, period. Meantime, we should MAD and do what we can to help at every turn. Great article and a lot of good. helpful ideas Red. We seldom realize how fortunate we are. ~R
    ~R
    Raymond Alexander Kukkee recently posted..Garlic Galore !My Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 10, 2012

      You are right, Ray. Very seldom, in our unending tide of trivial complaints, do we recognize some of the genuinely fortunate parts of our lives.

      Reply
  5. A very good thought provoking writing, I think even in most Western countries that Housing and Food are also being juggled around however having said that I believe that with the proliferation of technology that the means of home entertainment , ie computers Ipads and big TVs are also being juggled in the top three and housing and food are being affected to the detriment of the basics for survival
    Aussie Ian aka Emu
    aussieian2011 recently posted..Love Beneath the Canopy of HeavensMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 11, 2012

      There are some (insert derogatory adjective) people who believe a 60″ television, PS3, 3 cells and a satellite are all housing expenses. I am not one of those people.

      Reply
  6. It is unfortunate that things are so inequitable, with a certain percentage of people having so much more than they could ever use, and others barely having enough to survive.
    Binky recently posted..Poor SoulsMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 11, 2012

      Sadder still are the ones who you know, claim to know, who are hungry regularly without anyone being the wiser.

      Reply
  7. No matter how financially challenged we are, there is always something we can give to those in need, as you’ve pointed out – like giving our time through volunteering, donating goods in kind, or just simply cooking a meal.

    Frankly, I and my wife sometimes struggle to make ends meet. But we realize that living in a country (the Philippines), where more than half of the population live below the poverty line, we are still very fortunate to have a roof over our heads, eat 3x a day, and have enough to take care of our medical needs (very important because of my chronic illness). So we make it a point to help those in need.

    My personal conviction is: when we fail to be compassionate, we begin to lose our humanity…

    ~Matt

    Reply
    • Sorry for the double posts. Had difficulty in posting comments… But everything is alright now. Figured it out.

      ~ Matt

      Reply
      • Red

         /  May 11, 2012

        All fixed :) Next time, leave the CommentLuv box checked so a link to your latest post will attach to your comment. That way, others can go see what you have written.

        Reply
    • Red

       /  May 11, 2012

      True. I have seen so many people lament they no longer have the money to dine out, when there are people with nothing whatsoever to eat. All it takes is a few simple acts of kindness to truly make a difference.

      Reply
  8. Excellent post, Red.
    We give regularly to some organizations, and whenever there is a food drive at the supermarket, we pick up some cans to donate.
    The hardest part of charitable giving is knowing which organizations are trustworthy and effective.

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 11, 2012

      I agree wholeheartedly. I tend to support the user-generated variety with more regularity than organizations for that reason. I have only met a handful of organizations who actually use their money appropriately. It is one of the most abused, under-regulated sectors in our country. Most people believe there is a special circle of hell for those who breach the charity trust. I wish the law would let it be here and now.

      Reply
  9. Great post Red! :)

    I was on income support for over a decade, unable to find a job other than on the black market, so I often had to choose between food, heat and bills.

    Today I am on Incapacity Benefit and obsessed with saving even small amounts of money to cover the cost of future bills.

    The government is trying to cut my income and that of many others and to try and cut the number of people on benefits to save money.

    Needless to say, my biggest fear is to lose my benefits safety net as I know what it is to starve…

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.
    prenin recently posted..Thursday A trip to the Co-OpMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 11, 2012

      It is a choice even people who are not on assistance make everyday. Here, we call them the working poor. They have jobs which will not support them beyond getting them back and forth to work.

      Reply
  10. Wonderful idea on the gift cards, I hadn’t thought of that one.

    I am pantry cleaning this weekend, all will go to the local food pantry. We always end up with so much canned food that we won’t use then I go to the store and supplement with things like beans, rice, peanut butter.

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 11, 2012

      Glad you picked up a new idea. So many people want to help the homeless, but have no idea where to start. It is hard to imagine how to operate without a home base. It is something many people take for granted.

      Reply

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