Beginning this month, the Second Harvest Food Bank, together with the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks, will mobilize across all 50 states in an effort to bring an end to hunger. Hunger Action Month is designed to inspire people to take action and raise awareness of the fact that 42 million Americans, including 13 million children, are food insecure, according to the USDA.
In the Mahoning Valley more than 87,000 people struggle with hunger and may not know where they’ll find their next meal. That number includes one in 4 kids who may not have enough to eat.
September marks the tenth year the Feeding America network of food banks has organized this annual call to action and 10th year the Second Harvest Food Bank has participated in the Hunger Action Month movement. This year the campaign will focus on the strong connections between hunger and health.
The Hunger Action Month 2017 campaign asks people to consider how it must feel to live with an empty stomach, which puts a healthy life and a promising future at risk.
“The Food Bank through our member agencies fill thousands of requests for food each week from children and seniors in the Mahoning Valley,” said Michael Iberis, executive director, Second Harvest Food Bank. “In addition to shelf stable food, we’ve increased our distribution of fresh fruits and vegetables to provide more access to healthier food options to help children in the Valley to grow, learn and thrive, and provide seniors with much needed nutrient rich food that is often cost prohibitive.”
“I’ve spent many days on the road this past year, visiting food banks, food pantries, and meal programs and meeting people who are facing hunger,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “I’ve seen firsthand the anguish that food insecurity and hunger can cause. It is always heartbreaking to meet a mother or father who fears that they will not be able to feed their children. They know that their children cannot reach their full potential if they don’t have enough to eat.”
Hunger Action Day®, the second Thursday in September, is a day where efforts across the country are focused for greater impact.
This year, on September 14th, Second Harvest Food Bank asks supporters to wear orange, the symbolic color of hunger to help raise awareness. The Food Bank is also asking the community to share what they couldn’t do without adequate nutrition by writing on an empty plate, “On an empty stomach I can’t ______,” and filling in the blank with something they couldn’t achieve without the nutrition we need to thrive.
These photos can be posted to social media with #HungerActionMonth, @SHFBMV and @FeedingAmerica to join the conversation. To learn more about [food bank] and other ways you can get involved for Hunger Action Month visit HungerActionMonth.org.