Have you ever been really hungry before? Not just because you were so busy with work or life that you missed lunch, but HUNGRY. Hunger where you have gone for several meals without food? Have you ever experienced hunger because you were too poor to afford to buy food, or had to choose between heat or food, or paying your rent and buying food? Over 560,000 people in our community are experiencing this type of hunger, EVERY DAY. Can you imagine not knowing where your next meal is coming from, or not knowing when you’ll even have that next meal because you can’t afford to buy food?
The hardest part for me to comprehend with knowing that there are so many hungry people, is figuring out who is actually hungry. So many of these children who go hungry, seem like ordinary kids, and unless you really knew them, you wouldn’t know that they were hungry. Like I already mentioned, families are choosing between paying their bills and buying food. Take a look around next time you pick up your child from school, or next time you’re out and about; 1 in 4 children are at risk for hunger, that is 191, 307 in our community.
After hearing these stats, and the numbers, I knew that something needed to be done, and that I needed to do my part to make a difference. I found the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina, and to say the least, I fell in love with them.
This Saturday will mark my one year anniversary with the Food Bank! It was this time last year that I volunteered at an annual event, Feed the Need, and where my passion was born. I was able to work with Jen C from the Food Bank, and some other wonderful volunteers, and even got to spend some time with the CEO of the Food Bank, Peter.
Feed the Need is an annual food drive that raises funds and food for the Kids Programs and for when donations to the Food Bank are slow. This campaign supports children who receive free and reduced meals at school, and when summer begins, many of these children go without. With the help of the Food Bank, and volunteers and donors, FBCENC has been able to provide over 1.4 MILLION meals to children and their families in the Food Banks service area.
This year, I’ll be at the Leesville Road, Harris Teeter with Dr. Zagiba and some other volunteers. If you’re looking to meet Kate, head to the Cary drop-off location at Crescent Commons. If you haven’t heard about Kate, watch this awesome video, and see how much of an impact a donation of food or money can make to families like Kate’s.
What can you donate? Well, every dollar donated to the Food Bank is equal to $10, or FIVE meals. Some of the other most needed items are:
- Canned meals (stew, soup, tuna)
- Peanut butter
- Canned fruits and veggies
- Fruit cups
- Rice, pasta, dried beans
- Pudding cups
- Animal crackers
- Hygiene products (toothpaste, shampoo, soap, toothbrushes)
- Paper products (toilet paper, paper towels)
- Baby products (diapers, wipes, formula, baby food [not in glass jars])
Come see me this weekend, and share your experiences of hunger with us – or experiences of those that you know who suffer with hunger. The Food Bank is an absolutely wonderful organization, and helps thousands, and thousands and thousands of people every day. If we donate food or go with JUST A LITTLE less (like one less Starbucks), we can make a huge difference, and turn it into something positive for those who go hungry.
PS: Don’t forget to vote for the Food Bank to win $45,000 from Walmart. $45,000 would mean that the Food Bank could provide $450,000 worth of food or 225,00 meals to families who go hungry.