FEED Celebrates National Agriculture Day

Today is the Agriculture Council of America’s (ACA) National Agriculture Day! The ACA began the National Agriculture Day program in 1973, and it has continued during National Agriculture Week every subsequent March. National Ag Day celebrates the contributions of agriculture to our everyday lives, and encourages Americans to understand how their food products are produced and the role agriculture plays in the economy.

At Feed the Children (FEED), we gratefully recognize the critical role America’s farmers play in our shared prosperity. Thanks to continual innovation and research, the U.S. enjoys an agricultural surplus unrivaled in human history. However, on this National Ag Day, FEED recognizes that there is still room for improvement, because prosperity in food production does not guarantee food security or a nutritionally aware population. The fact is that we still struggle to ensure that our most vulnerable children—even children in the same rural farming communities where so much food is produced—have access to a healthy, nourishing diet. FEED has spent nearly four decades working to fill in the gaps, whether through food distribution by our trucking fleet, the delivery of backpacks containing food and hygiene essentials, or the provision of summer meals to food-insecure kids when school is out. FEED works with donors, volunteers and corporate partners to make sure that our country’s food security and nutritional health match our agricultural accomplishments.

FEED is also active internationally, with programs in 10 countries, working to share America’s agricultural abundance with the world. You can learn more about our domestic programs here and our international programs here. You can also learn more about U.S. agriculture and National Ag Day here!

Child Hunger in America: Thomas and James’ story

Thomas is weary. As the oldest boy in his family, this 14-year-old carries a heavy weight on his narrow shoulders.

“We have a big family, so, we kinda run out [of food],” says Thomas (names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve).

“It’s not fun to be hungry. I just wish life here was better for all of us,” he continues. “And I wish there was more food for all of us, instead of all of us going hungry…”

Thomas is especially protective of his 6-year-old brother, James.

“He’s the funnest little brother anybody could have,” says Thomas. “Me and him do a lot of stuff together. We go fishing. We go walking up and down the road. We go walk in the creek. We swim. We play a lot. It’s fun.”

James agrees, saying, “I like to do things with my brother.” He also really likes their dog, Brownie.

The brothers have a special bond. As a teenage boy, Thomas is always hungry, but he often gives up his share of food for James.

“I’m thinking that, well, he needs more food than I will…,” Thomas explains. He says simply, “I love ‘em.”

Even with his big brother’s sacrifice, James still faces hunger.

“Sometimes we run low on food and I’m hungry and there’s barely any food to eat,” says James. “…when we’re low on food, I feel sad.”

Their mom, Meghan, tries her best. She’s a single mom of 7 living in a poor, rural community. She doesn’t receive any child support. Each month — each day — is a struggle.

“Sometimes I have to go hungry to feed them…I’ll eat what’s left. If there’s nothing left, then I won’t eat.”

— Meghan

“Some days I want to cry,” she says. “Some days I ask the Lord for bigger help — that’s the only thing I know to do is pray for help from the Lord.”

Like Thomas, Meghan sacrifices.

“Sometimes I have to go hungry to feed them,” she says. “I’d rather feed them than myself anyway. I mean, I’ll eat what’s left. If there’s nothing left, then I won’t eat.”

And, at times, everyone suffers.

“There’s been a couple of times they’ve — we’ve — all went to bed hungry. Yeah. And I’ve cried myself to sleep,” Meghan says. “Kids shouldn’t never have to go hungry.”

Thomas shares this burden with his mom and tries to comfort her.

“Sometimes I would wake up and I would hear that she would be crying and I would just tell her that it’s gonna be okay,” says Thomas. “And I’d actually tell her that she needs to eat too, even though sometimes she doesn’t just to feed us. And she told me that she would rather starve than us starve to death. And that kinda made me cry a little bit, too.”

“I wish there could be more food for all of us, instead of us going hungry and stuff. It’s bad.”

— Thomas

Despite all of the family’s difficulties, Thomas still has hope for a better future.

“I want to try to be a doctor with a good-paying job and support the family…,” he says.

And what does he hope for today?

“I would change mostly the way we’re living,” says Thomas. “Like there would be food on the table every night, 3 times a day.”

You can stand in the gap for a family in desperate need

Please give today to help feed hungry children like James, Thomas and their brothers and sisters. Your gift can provide boxes filled with food and essentials that will put smiles on the faces of children like James.

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You can provide food and essentials for hungry children like Thomas and James!

Child Hunger in America: Gracie and Annalise’s story


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Meet Gracie and Annalise (names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve).

Gracie is 11 and Annalise is just 5. They are both so young, but already know how tough life can be.

“My sister has headaches and migraines and seizures,” explains Gracie. Their mom, Carrie, adds, “I’ve got to make sure she eats to keep from getting headaches — to keep from bringing on the seizures.”

Having good, nutritious meals is important for every child, but especially for Annalise. Her seizures can be so intense, they frighten Gracie.

“She worries about Annalise a lot,” Carrie says. “When Annalise has a seizure or migraine, she don’t want to leave her side.”

Gracie and Annalise

“I worry about her because she’s my sister and I don’t know what I would do if I don’t have her around,” says Gracie.

Not long ago, this family of four was doing well. Carrie and her husband, Jerry, had good jobs and could provide for their two daughters. Then things changed.

The plant where Jerry worked closed down and the only job he could find was on a shipping barge. He has to be on the barge 28 days at a time, then off for two weeks at home without pay.

Then, Annalise started having seizures and migraines that require multiple trips to the hospital. And Carrie also had to go from working full-time as a nurse to being on call so she could be home with Annalise.

“I worry about her because she’s my sister…”

— Gracie

“Life right now for my family is pretty rough,” Carrie says.

“The struggle has been serious enough to where I’ve wondered if I’m going to be able to feed my kids, because I didn’t have no money left after paying the bills,” she shares through tears.

And the emotional toll of Jerry being gone so much is hard on the family.

“He’s gone most of the time instead of at home,” Gracie explains about her dad. “It’s something that he don’t want to do. It’s something he had to do.

Gracie

Gracie is aware of the struggles of her family and others in her community. She says, “If I could have one thing, it would be a lot of food that everybody could have.”

This family needed a helping hand to make it through a tough time. Thankfully, because of caring friends like you, Carrie received boxes of food and essentials through Feed the Children.

She says, “It’s gonna make us feel 100% better to know that we’ve got something that we can go home and eat, and the girls will enjoy.”

You can stand in the gap for a family in need

Please give today to help feed a hungry family like Carrie’s. Your gift can provide boxes filled with food and essentials that will put smiles on the faces of children like Gracie and Annalise.

Gracie and Annalise

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You can provide food and essentials for children like Gracie and Annalise!

Child Hunger in America: Travaris’ story

“Running out of food is hard,” Travaris says.

This bright and active 10-year-old has been raised by his great-grandma, Martha, since he was a baby (names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve). She does her best to take care of and provide for Travaris, but it’s tough on just her social security income and food stamps.

“It hurts inside that I can’t do things for him,” she says with tears in her eyes. “At times it is difficult to keep him fed.”

Travaris and Martha try to focus on the positive. They are thankful to have each other and to have a roof over their heads.

And Martha is thankful that Travaris is a good student. He’s also a talented athlete. Martha beams with pride as she talks about him.

“I have great expectations for Travaris,” she says. “He’s going to go far.”

Travaris holding a book on his lap

Travaris has so much potential.

But if he continues to struggle to get enough to eat — especially nutritious food — his future that seems so full of hope will be in jeopardy.

“Sometimes we don’t have enough money and we are always using milk, eggs and bread — so we’re always running out of those,” Travaris says.

“At times it is difficult to keep him fed.”

— Martha, Travaris’ great-grandma

Their daily struggle also means sacrificing even simple expenses like the $2 admission to watch Travaris play football.

Travaris Playing football

“It’s tough…I was sitting in my car today watching the game,” Martha says. “I mean that’s just the way it is. There’s not money there when you need it for extracurricular activities.”

Because Martha knows that $2 can go toward buying Travaris milk or eggs — and providing nutritious food for him has to take priority.

“My granny tries hard to get me the foods that I would like to eat,” Travaris explains, but “…at the end of the month we are always out of money so she tries hard to get more food.”

You can stand in the gap for a family in need

You can make sure families like Martha and Travaris have the food and essentials they so urgently need. Without our help, families often run out. The end of the month is always the worst.

“The last week and a half there’s no money left — it’s gone,” says Martha.

Please step in and fill the gap for families like this! Give today.

Travaris and grandma

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You can provide food and essentials for a child like Travaris!

Hunger in America: Running out of food

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Cathy loves her children. She describes 3-year-old Saul as “very smart” and 2-year-old Carla as “very sassy.” She tells me that Carla is her miracle baby — she was on a ventilator for the first 2-1/2 weeks of her life.

Coming close to losing her has created an extra sense of protectiveness. That makes it especially tough on Cathy when she struggles to provide for Carla and Saul.

“I do run out of food, and it’s sad, sometimes it breaks my heart,” Cathy says.

“There are countless times that I’ve broke down crying because I didn’t have nothing for the kids, or nothing for myself,” she says.

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What makes it even more frustrating for Cathy is that she has a full-time job at a canning factory. But it’s not enough.

“I get paid every Thursday, but by the time that I pay my bills, I have maybe enough money to put in my gas tank so I can make it back and forth to work…” Cathy explains.

Cathy wants to go to school to become a pharmaceutical technician so she can earn a better income, but wonders how she can take classes and still work to provide for her family. The day to day struggle is very real.

“Running out of food is — it makes me just feel like a bad mom sometimes and I don’t like that feeling…” Cathy says. “I like to make sure my kids are well taken care of.”

You can help defeat hunger by providing food and essentials for a family in need

Your support can help a mom like Cathy put food on the table for her two children.

Your gift today will provide a box of food and a box of essentials to meet urgent needs for a struggling family. It’s just $38 for both boxes! Please give today, if you can. Good food will put smiles on the faces of children like Carla and Saul!

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Hunger in America: The summertime struggle

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Tricia loves her children. She says 10-year-old Eleanor is “very smart, she loves school, everybody likes her.” (Names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve.)

As a mom, she wants her kids to have everything they need. But lately, that’s been a challenge. Tricia suffers from chronic kidney disease. In the past 5 years, she’s had 14 surgeries. When they can’t afford her pain medication, she goes without.

Her husband has been trying to find work for several months. Thankfully, he just got a job, but it’s going to take this family some time to get back on their feet. And that means a tight budget. Especially during the summer months.

“Our cabinets have been empty several times,”

Tricia says.

“And some days mom and dad don’t eat because we make sure they eat.”

Imagine how hard it is for this family and so many others to just put food on the table for their children. And providing three meals a day during the summer makes it even more difficult.

“Sometimes we’ve had to sell personal objects to feed them during the summertime,” Tricia explains. “We even sold a car once to make it through the summer.”

Now that we’re in August, families are thinking about school again.

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“It’s very difficult when school starts!” Tricia exclaims. “Not only food, but school supplies, school clothes — and my children are growing like crazy. It’s very expensive.”

“Some days it’s just, it’s heartbreaking,” Tricia shares. “And I think that’s the worst thing, the worst feeling a mother can feel is not being able to feed their child.”

You can provide food and essentials for a family in need

Your support can help fill the gap. You can fill the empty cabinets for a mom like Tricia so she can put food on the table for Eleanor and her three other children.

Your gift today will provide a box of food and a box of essentials to meet urgent needs for a struggling family. It’s just $38 for both boxes! Please give today, if you can. Good food will put smiles on the faces of children like Eleanor!

eleanor-smiling

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If Tricia’s story has moved you, please share it with others. Introduce them to this struggling mom and how they can help hungry children across America like Eleanor.

Hunger in America: One Mom’s Struggle

When you’re a mom who struggles to provide for your children, every day is tough. Mother’s Day is no different.

Catherine and her husband have 3 kids to provide for, but with only a part-time job between them they depend on their local food pantry to put meals on the table (names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve).

At certain times of the year, that’s not enough. Catherine says:

“It’s horrible to say we look forward to the kids going back to school so we don’t have to worry about getting them breakfast and lunch.”

But that’s reality for this family of 5.

During June, July and August food is really tight. To make sure the kids have something to eat, Catherine explains that she and her husband will skip meals.

“…that’s how we do it in the summertime; we will go without food for a couple of days.”

You can step in for a family like Catherine’s to help them through a difficult time.

You can provide food and essentials for a hurting family

You can help a mom like Catherine feed her children. Your gift today will provide a box of food and a box of essentials to meet urgent needs for children like hers. It’s just $38 for both boxes! Please give today, if you can. You’ll fill the hungry tummies of kids like Latrice and her brothers, so they can have the energy to play outside this summer and not miss out on the joys of childhood.

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If Catherine’s story has moved you, please share it with others. Introduce them to this struggling mom and how they can help hungry children across America.

Child Hunger in America: Ashley & Samantha’s story

Jacob loves his daughters — 6-year-old twins Ashley and Samantha (names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve). That’s why it hurts so much when he doesn’t have enough food for them. Just thinking about his two precious girls going hungry, brings tears to his eyes.

And when I ask the twins about going hungry, their silliness turns serious and their easy smiles fade.

“When I run out of food, my tummy gets so achy,” Ashley says.

“It feels pretty bad,” Samantha adds. “We don’t have no food to eat.”

Jacob and his wife, Debbie, try hard to provide for their family. But it’s a constant struggle. They are growing girls and Jacob says, “They eat a lot.”

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It’s especially difficult during the summer months. Millions of kids across America depend on free or reduced price meals, but when school ends, so do those critical meals.

“In the summertime, when they don’t have that free breakfast and lunch, it’s a little expensive ‘cause you have to buy breakfast and lunch food,” Jacob explains.

“We don’t have no food to eat.”

— Samantha, age 6

For Jacob, his twins mean twice the blessing. But right now, when times are tight, twins also mean twice the hunger.

You can help families through tough times

You can help a dad like Jacob feed his children. Your gift today will provide a box of food and a box of essentials to help children like Ashley and Samantha. It’s just $38 for both boxes! Please give today, if you can. You’ll offer critical help and hope to a struggling family in their time of need. And you’ll fill the hungry tummies of kids like Ashley and Samantha so they can keep coloring, and experience all of the other joys of childhood.

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If Ashley and Samantha’s story stirred something in you, please share it with others. Introduce them to the twins and how they can help hungry children across America.

Child Hunger in America: Katie’s Story

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Katie (names have been changed to protect the privacy of those we serve) can be sweet and silly, as you can see in the video above. She wasn’t shy in front of the camera. She enthusiastically told us how much she loves to play with dolls. And that she likes to read. But she says, “I can only read a little…the words are too long.”

When I ask her about food, her smile fades and her eyebrows furrow.

“Sometimes we go to the food giveaway…because we run out of food and we need food,” Katie explains.

She’s only 8, but Katie knows her family struggles to get enough to eat. She has 2 older brothers and a baby sister.

It’s heartbreaking for her mom, Tiffany, but hunger is often their reality. This reality leads to tough choices.

“A lot of times I have put my bills aside…‘cause my kids come first,” Tiffany says. “For my kids to have food, I won’t pay this bill this month — just for them to eat.”

“…I won’t pay this bill this month — just for them to eat.”

— Tiffany, Katie’s mom

When I asked this overwhelmed mom what the hardest thing she’s had to do to feed her kids, she told me:

“We had to beg…with the kids, when it’s got so bad, we’ve had to beg.”

Meet urgent needs for a hurting family

You can help a mom like Tiffany feed her children. Your gift today can provide a box of food and a box of essentials to help a child like Katie. It’s just $38 for both boxes! Please give today, if you can. You’ll offer a family help and hope — and put a smile on the face of a child like Katie.

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If Katie’s story stirred something in you, please share it with others. Introduce them to Katie and how they can help hungry children across America.

Child Hunger in America: Molly’s story

Sometimes Molly plays in her closet. I think she chooses this small space because it makes her feel safe, protected from the outside world and all of the problems her family faces each day.

Molly is only 8, but she knows about food stamps and the local food pantry.

“Me and my mom go to the food pantry because we run out of food because they took $200 off my mom’s food stamps,” Molly explains.

This family struggles to get enough to eat. Molly’s mom has a job, but it doesn’t pay a lot. Her dad had to stop working because he suffers from a serious illness.

Unfortunately, that means that Molly also knows about hunger and the pain it causes.

“When we run out of food, it makes my heart very sad and it makes me cry,” Molly told me. “And then my brother and mama and daddy starts crying.”

Molly even told me how hunger hurts physically:

“What it feels like to be hungry is that you feel like you’re getting sick because you don’t have any food that you can eat… And you feel like you’re going to throw up.”

“… and it just isn’t enough.”

— Amber, Molly’s mom

With tears streaming down her cheeks, Molly’s mom, Amber, says, “…it really tugs at your heart, that you’re doing everything you can do to provide for them, and it just isn’t enough.”

Amber works hard, but her job doesn’t pay enough to provide for this family of four. Her husband, Jonathan, wants to work, but he’s suffering from a debilitating disease. Molly says:

“…it makes it very hard for him to do stuff like paint because he spills paint… Parkinson’s disease is where your hand shakes a lot.” She adds, “…it makes me very sad and it makes him sad.”

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Give a family a hand up and hope

Molly and her brother, Elijah, need nutritious meals. Amber and Jonathan need help from caring friends like you to feed their children during this tough time.

Thankfully, Amber received food and other essentials from their local food pantry — these much-needed items were provided by Feed the Children, thanks to our compassionate supporters.

Molly says, “People should help other people because sometimes people run out of food and they don’t have any money to get any food.”

Knowing what it’s like to be hungry has given Molly a heart for helping others.

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“If I have food, I would help anybody that doesn’t have food.” — Molly

Your gift today can provide a box of food and a box of essentials for a family just like Molly’s. It’s just $38 for both boxes! Please give today, if you can. You’ll offer a family help and hope — and put a smile on the face of a child like Molly.

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