Hunger is the feeling we get when we haven’t eaten in a while and our bodies are ready for more nutrition and energy! For lots of people, it’s easy to find something to eat when they’re hungry. But for some people, it’s unfortunately much more difficult to always have enough food–or the right kinds of food. People who regularly go without food experience what’s sometimes called “chronic hunger.” Those who have food but don’t have access to the fresh foods that keep their bodies healthy experience what’s known as “malnutrition.”
The good news is that there are ways you can help make a difference! Although it can be hard to help people who are far away when you’re young, it’s a great chance to pitch in and help the people in your community. Here are some ideas to get you started..
Even the smallest things can have an impact…
- Volunteer. Soup kitchens or meals-on-wheels organizations help the hungry in your community to have the meals they need.
- Host a food drive at your school. Go through your family's pantry and donate canned goods and other products to your local food rescue organization. Have your classmates do the same!
- Collect donations. On a holiday like Halloween, Trick-or-Treat for cause and collect donation money while you’re out getting candy.
- Write letters. Restaurants and grocery stores often throw away edible food at the end of every day. Encourage them to donate it to shelters and soup kitchens instead!
Keep yourself healthy…
- Go to the grocery store with your parents. Help them pick out healthy snacks
- Cook with your family. Making meals from scratch, rather than eating pre-made processed foods or ordering take-out, gives you more control over your nutrition.
- Go without meat for 1 day a week. Help yourself to a bigger serving of veggies!
Help others get the healthy foods they need…
- Talk to your principle. Ask about ways your school can offer healthier choices at lunch or in the vending machines.
- Start a garden, either at school or at home. Grow your own vegetables. Donate some or all of the vegetables to organizations that help people in “food deserts,” places where people don’t have access to fresh and healthy food choices.
- Go to the farmer’s market. Encourage your local farmers to set up or attend markets in neighborhoods that need it most, and to support programs that allow food-stamp recipients to buy foods and produce from the market.
When you’re older, it’ll be easier to help people outside of your community too…
- Study hard. Some day, you can work for an organization that helps the hungry. Doing well in school now is the first step!
- Talk to your friends. You and your friends are the next generation of change! Help them to learn and be aware, so you can all grow up to make a difference.
- Remember the Three C's: Commitment, Compassion, and Creativity can take you to big places!