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Dear White Women

Jul 1, 2020

According to Feeding America, African American households face hunger at a rate more than twice that of white, non-Hispanic households. And getting enough to eat is a consistent struggle for 1 in 4 African American children.

COVID-19 has exacerbated these disparities with many BIPOC communities experiencing higher death rates, food insecurity, and loss of employment. The clear connections between race, wealth, and health have been highlighted, with the fact that school-aged children, being unable to get access to the food that they would otherwise have, shows just how hunger disproportionately affects kids of color in the United States. 

Even if summer hunger is temporary, its impact can last a lifetime. Children who miss breakfast and lunch are more likely to be sick, inattentive, and disruptive when they return to the classroom. And 25% of children in households at risk of hunger may be forced to rely exclusively on hunger relief charities like Feeding America to make ends meet.

We can’t wait for the government to put policies in place to help address wage gaps and minimum wages and food accessibility, because millions of children are going hungry RIGHT NOW. This summer.

Listen in to learn what’s happening, and how you can help.

What to listen for: 

  • Blessings in a Backpack, which focuses on feeding kids during weekends when there is no school, has been working on a national level to make sure that this extended period of “no school” doesn’t leave millions of kids hungry.  
  • But neighborhood meals sites aren't much good if families don't know about them. That's why No Kid Hungry runs a summer meals texting service. Parents, grandparents, and caregivers can text ‘FOOD’ to 877-877 to find free summer meal sites in their neighborhoods.
  • Additionally, Feeding America has some easy ways to fight hunger as a family: 
    • Read and reflect on hunger: Tell your child a story about someone who struggles with hunger. You can use the story within the Family Action Plan, watch one of our videos, or read a book together. Then discuss what that person might be feeling.
    • Start a donation jar: Collect donations for your local food bank or pantry. Involve your child in the process by having them decorate the jar and choose where it should be placed in your home. Find your local Food Bank.
    • Host a lemonade stand or birthday party: Raise funds by hosting an online event where proceeds go to Feeding America or your local food bank. Set up a personal fundraiser.
    • Plant a family garden: Extend your existing family garden and donate the excess produce to your local food bank or plant a new one.
    • Volunteer as a family: Volunteering as a family is a great way to spend time together while also giving back. The Feeding America network of food banks serves virtually every community across the country. Connect with your food bank for local ways to get involved.

If your family is involved in a community group—such as Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, or 4H—see if the group can volunteer together, virtually, or perhaps in person if there are those opportunities.

And - one thing that we love to do as a family over here - if someone in your family has a big day coming up, consider a donation in their name instead of a physical gift. We know it’s not for everyone, but we do this for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and major gift holidays - to make sure that we are able to share some of what we have and are so grateful for with others.  

What else can you do? 

If you or someone you know is hungry - the USDA National Hunger Hotline remains a helpful resource for people seeking food assistance. The hotline, operated by Hunger Free America, can be reached Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET. at 1-866-3-HUNGRY (1-866-348-6479) or 1-877-8-HAMBRE (1-877-842-6273) (for Spanish).

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Suggested Episodes Related to This Topic: 

Ep 25: Why Kids Are Going Hungry

Ep 49: Why Are We Talking About Income Inequality?