When I am hungry I eat. I head to the pantry. I open the fridge and I scavenge…a bite of this, a nibble of that.
My kids have the same luxury.
That’s right – luxury.
They beg for goldfish….barter for string cheese…lobby for just something out of the candy bowl.
When you consider that there are nearly 17 million kids (that’s one in four)* here in the United States….how could you call it anything other than a luxury?
Let’s make that number LOCAL… I live in St. Louis, Missouri.
I am one of 5.9 million people who live here in the Show-Me State. Of that number, 24% are under the age of 18 (census). That means 1.4 million children live in Missouri.
20% are hungry. TWENTY-PERCENT.
That means there are 283,200 hungry kids right here.
Picture those goldfish dripping with gold, each string of string cheese ripping free with jewels attached….and candy? Well….that is the platinum of food – and it isn’t even good for them.
It makes my heart hurt.
Since I’ve heard the statistics…I have found myself counting children everywhere I go.
At the park….8 kids on the playground. Two might be hungry.
In the parking lot of any school……hundreds hopping out of their cars….dozens might not have had breakfast and may not have lunch.
Childhood Hunger Facts:
- A child doesn’t have to be homeless to be hungry
- Hunger affects kids you don’t know, and kids you do
- Some states have a child hunger rate as high as 25%
- The official term is ‘food insecurity’ – which means these kids (and naturally many adults) live – day to day either hungry or in fear of starvation.
I have told you about my experience as a child. Now that I know the signs, I know I went to school with kids who were hungry.
The difference between now and then? I now know I can help. And so can you.
ConAgra Foods has teamed with Feeding America to create a campaign to fight this insidious problem.
Easily the best part of the campaign is simply how easy it is to make a difference.
The Small Steps to Ending Childhood Hunger:
- Join Con Agra’s Facebook Fan Page for updates:
- Follow the Twitter stream
- Purchase Participating Con Agra Foods – for every one of these foods purchased – 1 meal will be donated to Feeding America to provide up to 2.5 million meals to Feeding America.
- Host a local rally to fight Childhood Hunger.
It is easier than you think.
- Turn an existing local event – a community garage sale, school bake sale, church rummage sale, carnival or lemonade stand into a Hunger Ending Rally.
- Register online.
- Receive a rally toolkit – including a banner, four posters, a lapel pin, coupons to share and a rally guide/information kit.
- Give the proceeds, or a portion of them to Feeding America through the website. (As long as you donate online, the proceeds will stay in your local community.
I will be hosting a rally of my own and have many ideas spinning in my head about the best way to reach the largest number of people with this message.
People need to know CHILDREN SHOULD NEVER GO HUNGRY.
More than anything – I love the idea of kids helping kids.
What would be the easiest way for you and your kids to get involved? Would it be a lemonade stand? A bake sale? A food drive? A family dinner where you ask relatives to help?
I would love to hear your suggestions.
Come on….you know you have one.
In the coming weeks, I will be highlighting people who are making a difference. I would love to showcase your fight against Childhood Hunger.