September is Hunger Action Month. This is a nationwide campaign that networks food banks and individuals from across the United States to create a movement to create awareness and help end hunger in America.
As a farmer, I work hard to provide healthy, affordable and quality food. Even though farmers work hard everyday to provide that for all Americans, hunger is still an issue. I am fortunate and have not had to struggle with hunger myself. There were times growing up in the 80's during the farm crisis my family had to literally save our pennies to buy a gallon of milk, but we survived. Unemployment is a strong predictor of food insecurity and with unemployment levels at some of the highest levels they have been in years, I think we all know and can see hunger in our communities, no matter how big or small they may be.
So what can you do to help this cause?
- The first thing I encourage all of you to do is "Like" Iowa RISE UP. By liking this page during the month of September $1 will be donated to the Iowa Food Bank Association to help the more than 400,000 Iowans who are food insecure.
- The second thing you can do is take the SNAP Challenge. The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) provides monthly benefits to supplement the food budgets of families in need. The SNAP Challenge "encourages participants to get a sense of what life is like for millions of low-income Americans facing hunger." The SNAP Challenge allocates the average SNAP benefit, which is $4.50 per person per day - for ALL your food and beverages.
- The third thing you can do is make a donation of nonperishable food items to your local food bank. I know our local food bank suggests items such as canned tuna or chicken, canned fruit and vegetables, peanut butter, juice, rice, soup, crackers, spaghetti sauce, and oatmeal.
- The final thing you can do is check out lots of other ideas through the 30 Ways in 30 Days! program. Be creative, have fun, get others involved and fight hunger!
So what is your plan? What are you going to do in recognition of Hunger Action Month?