September is Hunger Awareness Month, also called Hunger Action Month, which is a better title because awareness without action does not solve this shameful problem. It is indeed shameful that more than one in five children in America - 16.7 million under the age of eighteen (according to the Department of Agriculture) live in a household with “food insecurity,” i.e. “unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life.” To be simple and clear, they are hungry nearly every day.
What can each of us do to be a part of the solution to the problem of hunger? The Connecticut Food Bank sponsors many special events throughout the year. Go to their website – www.ctfoodbank.org - and click the link for their Events Calendar – “30 Ways in 30 Days.” I will mention a few events here:
Walks Against Hunger, which raised more than $250,000 last year, are held in Bridgeport, New Haven, Waterbury, and Norwich.
Jeremy’s Second Food Drive will be held in Bridgeport on Saturday, September 28, from 12-4 p.m. directly across from Blackham School on Thorme Street. Jeremy, who is nine years old, collected nearly 1,000 pounds of food last year, with the help of those who participated in this effort.
Thanksgiving for All Campaign provided more than 600,000 meals for people in need of food assistance during the holiday season last year. Everyone – individuals, families, schools, businesses, civic and religious groups – is welcome to participate in this effort.
Another group suffering from hunger in this country is senior citizens. The Meals on Wheels Association of America is working to end senior hunger by 2020, but if you have ever gone without a meal and felt hungry, try to imagine what it is like for seniors who have that experience on a regular basis.
One more suggestion, from the Hunger Action Month website: take the SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) Challenge – Eat on just $4.50 a day – the daily average per person benefit provided by SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps).
A personal note: to all the Harry Chapin fans out there – the best way to honor his memory is to do something to support his signature humanitarian effort – World Hunger Year - begun in the 1970’s. “Why?” Chapin asked, “when there is enough food to feed everyone in the world, do people have to go hungry every day?”