Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Fight Child Hunger in the US

Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Fight Child Hunger in the US

Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Fight Child Hunger in the US #FacesBehindHungerI was asked to participate in the #FacesBehindHunger campaign, sponsored by ConAgra Foods. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.

I didn't grow up hungry. What I mean by that is that we always had food. We didn't go without or struggle to get food on the table. My parents both worked and while we may have had to wear thrift store clothes, my parents were always smart about where they spent their money when there wasn't much of it.

Years after meeting my husband (he is pictured above), he shared some details of his childhood and about growing up hungry. He lived in an urban area with the word gun in its nickname.

He loved going to school because for him it meant that he would get two meals a day. He shined shoes for a while in a bar at around nine to 10 years old. He could earn enough money to buy one of those huge pickles that are near the registers in gas stations/ convenience stores. One pickle a day is what he would eat on the weekend and from one of those large pickles he would divide up how many hours a day he would be awake then eat a certain portion every hour.

My husband used to stand at the end of the cafeteria line and ask students for their dime after they paid for lunch. Lunches cost 90 cents and this was back when everyone carried cash for lunch. He could stand there and rack up $1 in just a few minutes by asking every kid for their dime of change. These kids just handed it over.

I never ever had to think about food in those terms and I truly didn't realize about the amount of hunger in America until he told me his story. This breaks my heart that he had to experience this. The fact is he also shared that he considered himself lucky because he told me that there were people who had a lot less than he did.

Hunger is America is widespread and no matter what you think, it is all around us. The face of hunger can look like absolutely anyone.

Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Fight Child Hunger in the US #FacesBehindHunger

Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Fight Hunger in the US

1. Tell your kids what we have told our kids. If they ever see a kid asking for money for food in the cafeteria, to give him or her a few dollars. We have put $2-3 dollars in each kids lunchbox so they can help people whenever they need to. If they notice that someone doesn't have a lot for lunch or seems hungry, they are welcome to pack that person a sandwich. My daughters have both done this a few times.

2. Organize a food drive at your school or through the Scouts. We have done this several times and been able to collect a lot of cans which we then donate to our local food pantry. I encourage you to connect first with your local food bank as they may have collection bins for you.

3. Volunteer at local organizations who help fight hunger. We have volunteered several times in many different ways. First, we packed boxes of food at our local community food bank. We recently visited the NYC Food Bank and saw a room of volunteers packing hams. My son immediately wanted to volunteer. Both because he loves ham (they weren't handing any out) but because he saw that it was something he could do. He could help box or unbox things. It is a wonderful thing when your own child tells you that he wants to volunteer at the food bank.

Dan Cinquemani, VP of Food Distribution for Food Bank for New York City, said that the food bank is always in need of volunteers to give their time just as much as they need money. They need people to help in the warehouse and they offer various hours to fit around schedules so if you can't give money, your time is just as valuable. {See where we toured the Food Bank for New York City and interviewed Dan}

4. Grocery shop with ConAgra in mind. You can buy specially marked packages of ConAgra Foods® brands they will donate a meal to Feeding America.® For each 8-digit code entered at, ConAgra Foods will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America. “One code = one meal to Feeding America.” Find the list of participating brands here.

Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Fight Child Hunger in the US #FacesBehindHungerAbout Child Hunger Ends Here®

ConAgra Foods® has been committed to ending child hunger in America for nearly 20 years. This year, it's our goal to put 3 million meals on the table for kids who are food insecure, one code and one meal at a time. Be a part of the movement! Simply look for the red pushpin on specially marked packages, and enter the code—it's that easy.

Look for these participating brands from ConAgra Foods® and King's Hawaiian® when you're looking for the red pushpin and code to support Child Hunger Ends Here. Check your pantry for brands you might already have, or add them to your grocery list. It's just one more reason to feel good about the food you love.

Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Fight Child Hunger in the US #FacesBehindHungerYou would never think in a million years that my chef (irony, right?) husband is one the #FacesBehindHunger because he is the biggest foodie I know. He has a pretty sophisticated palette yet he still likes pickles. But the fact is that he is one of those faces. There are nearly 16 million kids in the United States who are

The facts about hunger are staggering and yes, there is absolutely something you can do. I implore you to remember that the Faces Behind Hunger are different everywhere. I encourage to get involved in your community and find out how you can help end child hunger. I can say without 100% certainly that within my immediate family, Child Hunger Ends Here. We do our part.

At the very least, please follow these social handles and share whenever you can.

Things You Can Do Right Now to Help Fight Child Hunger in the US #FacesBehindHungerGET VOCAL ABOUT CHILDHOOD HUNGER

Tweet with @ConAgraFoods on Twitter
Tweet with @ChildHungerEnds on Twitter
Tweet with @FeedingAmerica on Twitter
Tweet with @FoodBank4NYC on Twitter

See @ConAgraFoods on Instagram
See @ChildHungerEnds on Instagram
See @FeedingAmerica on Instagram
See @FoodBank4NYC on Instagram

Like @ConAgra Foods on Facebook
Like @Child Hunger Ends Here on Facebook
Like @Food Bank for New York City on Facebook



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33 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy)

    It makes me sad that kids go hungry in this day in age. I wish we could stop it once and for all.

  2. I grew up okay but not too long ago I couldn’t feed my own kids. I fed them bread and water for a week one time and I didn’t eat anything to make sure they had something. I am thankful for programs like this to help because there are so many children and families in need.

  3. I have a lump in my throat just reading your husbands story as to what he did as a child, especially for the love of those pickles. Happy to hear you put a few extra dollars in your childs lunch bag in case anyone is ever (god forbid, but I know it happens) hungry that day, and surprisingly so both your daughters graciously passed their cash along to another student. You’ve raised them well, to be aware.

  4. It always saddens me to hear stories like your husband’s. In a country with so much, there are still so many without the basic needs. We donate often to our local food pantry – getting the kids involved – we want to teach them that not everyone is as lucky as they are.

  5. Sadly your hubby’s story is quite common, I went to a public school as a child and remember sharing lunch with friends who couldn’t get lunch that day and some whose families would have to visit a food pantry and participate in the summer lunch program so they were assured eating that day. It’s truly heart-breaking. It’s great you teach your kids to help so they grow up wanting to help/give/share.

    Kudos to ConAgra foods for doing something about it!

  6. This is such a fantastic program. I think it’s deplorable that we have children going hungry anywhere, but especially in the U.S.

  7. Pam

    Child hunger is such a problem in America. I saw it when I was a teacher.

  8. What great tips! I grew up poor and can relate to a lot of your husband’s experiences. I used to help my 5th grade teacher in the classroom during recess and she’d give me granola bars in exchange for my help. Looking back, she probably didn’t even need my help, but it was such a treat when she gave me one of those bars.

  9. These are all great ideas. It is so sad that there are hungry people. Adding a few dollars or packing extra food in lunches is a great idea.

  10. It seems like such a far away problem, until you realize how many of the kids all around you are hungry. I appreciate knowing what I can do to help.

  11. I can’t imagine what your husband went through as a child. No child should have to strategically plan out their food like that.

  12. I am glad to know my time is just as needed since I don’t have a lot of money.

  13. Like you, I was lucky to never go hungry as a child and feel blessed that my own children will say the same thing someday but for some reason this issue really strikes a chord with me. Thanks for sharing a few great ways we can help!

  14. Great ideas. It’s so sad that in countries like the USA and Canada children are going hungry. It really is heartbreaking.

  15. It is shocking to think of how many kids are hungry in this country! We definitely can and should do more

  16. I was like you growing up, where we had food in our home and had 3 meals plus every day. I love this program! Every child deserves to not know the feeling of hunger.

  17. Catherine S

    It makes me sad to think that children in this country are going hungry. It Is great that your kids have packed sandwiches to help others.

  18. This is such an important message! I’ve seen it firsthand and it’s heartbreaking to see childhood hunger when it’s so natural for us to have food. I love these tips, too. Such easy ways to give back and help out!

  19. I’m also fortunate to have a set of parents who are industrious in making money. We might not be considered as rich and wealthy but the amount of income for the family is just enough for us not to be hungry. It also breaks my heart to know that there are so many people in the world who are not fed and are malnourished. In fact, I will be doing charity work this weekend for kids.

  20. What an inspirational story about your husband’s childhood! And a great reminder that we should be grateful for what we have, and generous to others. We donate money each month for needy in our area, but we can be more giving of our time. When my kids get older, I’ll follow your example and take them to volunteer around town. A little help can go a long way.

  21. It really is scary how many people in America don’t have enough food. I love that Conagra has this program to help out families. Plus it is super easy to participate which is a huge plus to me.

  22. It breaks my heart to read stories like this. We teach our children to share their food if they see someone hungry. Our community has a feeding program and we volunteer on weekends.

  23. Ann Bacciaglia

    My Daughter used to pack an extra sandwich for her friend everyday. She had noticed that her friend never had a sandwich so she asked me one day if she could bring her one. I love the idea of putting a few dollars in the lunchbox just in case.

  24. These are great ways to help fight child hunger. We have a Breakfast for Learning program at our school i volunteer at.

  25. What an amazing story you shared with us about your husband and what an important cause. Hunger is huge problem everywhere but sometimes we don’t realize it’s happening in our own backyard. You are teaching your children an amazing value, to care for others.

  26. Our school has a program that sends food home with kids who need it on the weekends. We donate to that regularly.

  27. Thank you so much for writing this post and bringing more attention to the issue! It is something we all need to talk about! I love that you add a few dollars to your kids lunches to help out other kids in need! Great post!

  28. Stories like this break my heart. We don’t have much, but my husband and I always teach our children to share their food, especially to the needy. And whenever we hear about community feeding programs, we volunteer.

  29. Tracey

    My heart broke to read your husband’s story. I am so glad there are programs like this in place to make these stories less common.

  30. I love supporting kids in any way I can! So happy to see something like this out there!

  31. Thank you for sharing these ways to help fight child hunger. It breaks my heart that so many kids don’t have enough food. Everything in life is so much harder when our basic needs aren’t being meet. I also send my kids with a little extra money and always encourage them to share with anyone that doesn’t have enough.

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