Domestic Food Programs
We call the U.S. the land of plenty, and for most of us, that’s true. But for nearly 16 million Americans, it’s the land of not enough (U.S. Census). These kids live in homes where they can’t count on getting the food they need. They aren’t only from families trapped in poverty. With so many people today unable to find full-time jobs, many families may technically be above the poverty line, but they still live paycheck to paycheck. An unexpected hospital bill or repair forces them to choose between two necessities. Often, food loses. Millions of kids do know they will eat one meal a day, thanks to free school lunches and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). But these programs are subject to political change, as we saw during the 2013 cuts to SNAP. When the money on SNAP cards goes down, visits to food pantries and other local charities go up. For hungry kids in the U.S., not knowing when they’ll eat next gnaws away at their childhood. Many have health problems, many struggle to learn. Add in bullies and taunts from classmates or neighbors about their needs, and they lose the simple joys of childhood to stress and worry far beyond their years. You can help these kids be kids by joining with Feed the Children to fight child hunger in the U.S. Kids are resilient. They just need someone who’s got their back, who can give them a leg up and a little help fending off hunger and recovering the joys of childhood. Take a look and see where you can give them a boost.
We get food to American children a few different ways. Generous corporations donate their own food products or cash to purchase or ship food. Every day, Feed the Children trucks crisscross the country, delivering millions of pounds of food in the course of a year to people in all 50 states. We don’t know who needs what in every part of the country, so we work with local food pantries, agencies, and churches. They receive the food and make sure it gets to the families and children who need it. Sometimes it goes onto shelves for people to choose later, sometimes families come and pick up boxes pre-packed with a week’s worth of food.
- Give 2 boxes of food and 2 boxes of essentials to families in need.
- Sponsor a truckload of food for 400 families with your company or organization
What do backpacks have to do with hunger? As with everything we do, they’re an important part of the big picture. The backpacks we distribute are filled with school essentials and hygiene items like toothbrushes and soap. But the benefit of backpacks is bigger than that. A backpack is something every student’s family needs to buy. But when you donate backpacks, it’s one less thing a family must find money to buy — allowing them to put their money toward other important things. Also, backpacks provide homeless students with an emotional boost that can’t be calculated. A new backpack takes away one thing that makes them feel different from their other classmates. Not only does it help them get to school, it helps them feel better about themselves and do better in school.
During the school year, school lunch programs help hold childhood hunger at bay. For children who rely on meals at school, the summer months can be a difficult time. At Feed the Children, we are fighting summer hunger through the Summer Food & Education Program (SFEP). In 2014 alone, we served 186,000 meals to hungry children through 11 SFEP sites. With your help, we are serving even more meals through 64 sites this year, changing summer hunger in America one child at a time.