This September the Vermont 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.
September marks the ninth year that the Vermont Foodbank has organized and participated in this annual call to action. 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.
“We believe it’s important that the people we serve have access to enough healthy food to reach their full potential; especially our children, who cannot grow, succeed or learn on an empty stomach,” said John Sayles, Vermont Foodbank CEO.
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, 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 8, the Vermont 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, @VermontFoodbank and @FeedingAmerica to join the conversation.
In Vermont, the Vermont Foodbank has many activities planned to engage the community in hunger relief and awareness building, including: Pick for Your Neighbor at participating u-pick apple orchards, Localvore Today event to benefit the Foodbank, and 4th Annual Mac & Cheese Challenge in Windsor Vermont to name a few. See a complete list of events and promotions for Hunger Action Month HERE.
“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 Vermont Foodbank and other ways you can get involved for Hunger Action Month in Vermont, please visit www.vtfoodbank.org/HAM.