It’s summer time – a time for lounging by the pool, splashing in the waves at the beach, riding bikes, blowing bubbles, camping, making S’mores and catching fireflies.
When you were a child, what things did you enjoy doing the most during the summer? For me it was spending time with my cousins, building forts in the woods, riding our bikes into town, swimming in our grandfather’s pool and having ice cream at the local ice cream shop.
Most children look forward to summer – but not all children. Some children dread the summer months because for them it means going to bed hungry at night and not knowing where their next meal is coming from.
Many children around the country live in food insecure homes. Most of these children participate in a school meal program to ensure that they get a decent meal at school. Sometimes it’s the only meal they get in a day.
When school is not in session these same children are left to worry about where there next meal is coming from.
Food insecure families are everywhere. Your co-worker, neighbor or even your friend could live in a food insecure household. Due to the stigma associated with food insecurities most people don’t make it a point to share with others that they are struggling and finding it hard to put food on the table for their family.
ConAgra Food has teamed up with Feeding America on a campaign to fight against hunger during the summer months. With the help of some bloggers like myself we pinned some great pins on the Child Like Summer Pinterest board that Feeding America created.
This is a wonderful Pinterest board filled with crafts ideas, activities, recipes and more. I’d like to encourage you to stop by and check it out for yourself.
Here is the link for your convenience – A Childlike Summer Pinterest Board.
All children should experience a childlike summer. They shouldn’t have to worry about not having enough to eat.
There are ways YOU can help.
Donating food to your local Feeding America or food bank is a great way to start. Non-perishable foods are always welcome and in some areas perishable foods too. Please check with your local food bank for a list of items they need.
Whenever I go shopping for my family and see a sale on foods like canned goods and cereals I always try to pick up some extras so that my family and I can donate them to our local food bank. I think this is a great activity the whole family can do – even the youngest member. Your family can box up the food you wish to donate and together bring it to your local food bank to donate. While you are doing this it’s important to discuss with your child/children why this is important and what their donations mean to others who don’t have much.
If it’s possible to donate your time volunteers are always in need. When I was down in Tampa, Florida I helped out at a local food bank giving food to the people who showed up to collect it. I also had the opportunity to tour a local food bank warehouse. Although there was a lot of food there they certainly could use more. Not only that volunteers are needed to help sort the foods and package it up to be delivered to those in need or put on the shelves where people can “shop” for what they need.
People are also needed to package foods for children from food insecure homes too.
Here are some photos from my trip.
You can also help by donating money and/or helping to spread the word about child hunger that is happening right now in your own “backyard”. It’s also important that you let your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers know that hunger happens year round – not just around the holidays when most people tend to donate food. It would also help out a lot of you can spread the word about children from food insecure homes that do not get meals on a regular basis during the summer months.
One of the easiest ways you can help is by simply watching this fun video by YouTube sensation Kid President. Simply by watching this cute video you can help raise money for Feeding America. For every view, like or share of this video (below) the ConAgra Foods Foundation will donate the money to Feeding America equivalent to one meal – up to million meals.¹
You can also visit www.ChildHungerEndsHere.com and click on the “taking action” tab for more information.
To find meal sites in your area please call the National Hunger Hotline at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479).
What ways do you think YOU and your family could get involved to help abolish child hunger?
What is your idea of a “childlike summer”?
Do you have any personal experiences when it comes to child hunger or food insecurity?
Feel free to share your thoughts. I always love to hear from my readers.
*I have partnered with ConAgra Foods Foundation and The Motherhood to bring you this information. Although compensated the opinions expressed are my own and not influenced in any way.
1For every view, like or share of this Kid President video recorded on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+ from May 22, 2014 through July 31, 2014, the ConAgra Foods Foundation will donate 11.1¢, the cost for Feeding America to provide one meal through its network of local food banks. Minimum donation of 10,000 meals ($11,111). Maximum donation of two million meals ($222,000). Valid in U.S. only.