This September, MANNA FoodBank, 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 48 million Americans, including 15 million children, are food insecure, according to the USDA.
In Western North Carolina, more than 107,000 people struggle with hunger and may not know where they’ll find their next meal. In Haywood County, 1 in 6 people, and 1 in 3 children are affected by hunger.
September marks the ninth year the Feeding America network of food banks has organized this annual call to action in the Hunger Action Month movement. This year the campaign will focus on the strong connections between hunger and health.
The Hunger Action Month 2016 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.
“Families facing hunger are especially vulnerable to health problems,” said Hannah Randall, CEO of MANNA FoodBank. “Children, especially, are at risk for increased health issues if they have experienced hunger in their early development. Our focus at MANNA has been on sourcing and distributing healthy foods across WNC to help provide families with the nutrition they need to live a healthy life and thrive.”
According to the Feeding America study, Hunger in America 2014, nearly half of households served by the Feeding America network include someone that is in either fair or poor health.
“I’ve spent many days on the road this past year, visiting food banks,nd 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 Sept. 8, MANNA FoodBank asks supporters 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, @MANNAFoodBank and @FeedingAmerica to join the conversation.
“With the combined effort of Feeding America, the nationwide network of food banks and hunger advocates across the country, the goal of this campaign is to raise awareness about hunger and inspire Americans to get involved,” Aviv said. “The Feeding America network is leading the fight to end hunger in the U.S. We all have a role to play in getting food to our neighbors in need. Advocate. Educate. Volunteer. Donate.”
To learn more about MANNA FoodBank and other ways you can get involved in ending hunger in your community, please visit MANNAFoodBank.org.