Since we know that seemingly little actions can make a difference, let’s continue the idea with real life examples. Today will begin an occasional series focusing on Little Things that make a real difference in the world.
We all know that hunger is an issue, but what we may not realize is how much of an impact hunger has in so many areas. Hunger affects more than just our stomachs; it’s effects stretch out of the home and touch things such as health care, public safety and our educational system. While one person alone cannot eliminate hunger, making a conscious effort to help can be far reaching. We have outlined some ideas of where to start below:
Pay off school lunch debt – Unfortunately, many schools still punish the student when parents are unable to pay for school lunch. “Lunch Shaming” can come in many forms, but they can all cause hurt and embarrassment. Even when parents or guardians are trying to get lunch balances paid, time and paperwork often hinder the process. We can help by contacting local schools about sponsoring a child/family to pay for school lunches for the year. Another option is to offer the school money to go towards paying down some student lunch debt. Organizations such as the Philando Castile Relief Foundation, whose amazing community commitments include paying for lunches in the Twin Cities area, also accept donations to continue their work.
Volunteer at, donate to and purchase products that support organizations such as Feed My Starving Children, which package and send food countries in need. The people helped through these organizations may not be in your neighborhood, but the food received through them help alleviate critical needs. With food needs being helped, aid organizations and governments can put their resources towards other areas.
Tip: Looking for a gift for a teacher, a wedding, or that person who has everything? Purchases such as the ones here are unique, include cards describing their origin, AND help feed the hungry! Or, volunteer your time and/or money to the organization in honor of the special someone, in lieu of a physical gift.
Food shelf donations – make it a habit to purchase a food shelf donation EVERY time you shop for food. This could take many forms:
- purchase at least one item to donate to the food shelf every time you shop. These items can be kept at home until you fill a bag to donate. Or, many stores have food shelf donation spots (by the exit, for example), so you can leave your donation there.
- Have your children each pick out something to donate when you shop. This also teaches them kindness, sharing, and empathy.
- Keep a donation jar at home. Stick a dollar in it as part of putting your groceries away. Donate the contents when it is full; even better, donate it when your food shelf is getting matching donations (where we are, this usually happens in March).
If we all made little, conscious efforts to chip away at hunger, many lives would be changed. Our communities would see many benefits, financial ones and more. And knowing that you are helping out people around you feels pretty good…speaking from experience.