Even one dollar makes a difference.
The current statistics on Covid-related hunger are shocking. And hunger is hitting kids the hardest. According to the Brookings Institute‘s analysis of the most recent USDA food security survey: “By the end of April, more than one in five households in the United States, and two in five households with mothers with children 12 and under, were food insecure. In almost one in five households of mothers with children age 12 and under, the children were experiencing food insecurity.” (Emphasis added.)
Defined by Brookings, “Food insecurity occurs when a household has difficulty providing enough food due to a lack of resources.” This one-in-five-households rate is three times higher than in 2008, during the Great Recession’s height.
Massive unemployment plays a role in this significant bump in hunger. And with schools closed, so does the lack of school-provided meals. According to No Kid Hungry, “22 million children in the United States rely on the free or reduced-price lunch they receive at school, and every one of them is eligible for free breakfast as well.”
But what can we do? Plenty. Below are programs that are feeding America’s hungry and need your help.
Chef José Andrés is both chef and international philanthropic powerhouse. His World Central Kitchen provides hot, nourishing meals wherever needed following a natural disaster — and now, in the wake of Covid-19.
His Chefs for America initiative helps further, linking temporarily-closed restaurants and their staffs to work feeding the hungry. A win-win. Donate HERE.
One dollar provides ten meals. That’s Feeding America’s message. The non-profit manages the largest network of food banks in the country, and seeks to feed everyone from small children to the elderly to rural populations experiencing hunger or food insecurity. Their Covid-19 efforts include partnering with school districts and local governments to ensure that the 22 million children who rely on school meals have access to food, and distribution of non-food items like cleaning supplies. Donate HERE.
No Kid Hungry’s goal is self-explanatory. The organization’s large national network provides free meals to food-insecure kids. These meals include breakfasts, school lunches, summer meals, and after-school snacks. They also have launched a multimillion-dollar Covid-specific response that includes local grants and lobbying efforts on Capitol Hill. Donate HERE.
FareStart’s Catalyst Kitchens initiative does double duty helping underprivileged populations. First, they provide stable, foodservice job training to homeless people, recovering addicts, and the formerly incarcerated. These trainees, volunteers, and staff then prepare nutritious meals for low-income adults and children in their communities. Catalyst uses this dual approach toward its ultimate goal of breaking the cycle of joblessness, hunger, and poverty. Donate HERE.
Seniors are an extremely high-risk demographic for Covid-19. Meals on Wheels continues to do its job personally delivering free meals to senior citizens nationwide. Delivering these meals does more than feed America’s seniors; it also combats social isolation, promotes better health, and combats hunger. Senior citizens are an at-risk population that grows every day. Donate HERE.
6. How to Find Other Worthy Organizations
If there is another philanthropic area that interests you, or if you want to find more local organizations fighting hunger, a great first stop is Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator evaluates and rates charities according to their efficiency in using donated funds and by their commitment to good practices and transparency. It is also a great way to search for a charity that speaks to you.
This New York Times article by Nick Kristof offers well-researched suggestions across a range of worthy causes, such as hunger, providing clinics with clean water, and supporting Native Americans’ health.