Those dog days of summer…. have they hit yet where you live? I definitely can’t complain as I sit here writing this in my house with all the windows open, cool breeze blowing through. I wonder, though, as I stare out the window, how many kids in my local community are having a rough summer? Meaning, how many kids in Northwest Arkansas are trying to figure out how or where they’ll eat dinner tonight? My heart wishes it could make it a hunger-free summer for all of them.
Inspiration for a Childlike Summer
Enough wishing, though. Getting involved in this fight is what’s key. To lead off with a bit of inspiration, ’cause you know that MamaBuzz is all about the inspiration in life, have a glance at the Feeding America Pinterest board, A Childlike Summer. You’ll find so many ideas for ways to get involved and start taking action in your own community, along with ideas for summer fun.
Ways to Join the Cause in Your Own Community
A couple of weeks ago, I shared ways to volunteer and fight child hunger with your kids. This time I’m focusing more on your local community. How can you join the cause against child hunger in your local area?
Below are a few ways to get involved in your local community, along with specific places right here in Northwest Arkansas (for any of my local peeps reading this).
- Help out at a community garden! Gardens provide fresh foods that are healthy and whole. Whole foods like fresh fruits and veggies are often expensive and hard to buy for those experiencing poverty. You can volunteer your time to pull weeds, harvest, water plants, and more. Northwest Arkansas: A local garden we’ve recently gotten involved with is the Samaritan Garden. For other gardens in Northwest Arkansas, I encourage you to read my friend Jamie’s post on community gardens in NWA.
- Volunteer at a food pantry or food kitchen. Several organizations in communities across the country host a number of meals each week or have a market where those in need can shop for food and supplies. If you like to cook, you might help prepare meals. Other ways to get involved may include serving meals, cleaning up after meals, helping as a “shopping assistant” for those shopping a food pantry, donating food, and more. Northwest Arkansas: Local organizations like this include Samaritan Community Center, Second Street Pantry, Servant’s Heart of Northwest Arkansas, The Manna Center, Northwest Arkansas Hunger Relief, etc.
- Volunteer at or donate to a food bank. Of course, before donating food to a food bank or food pantry, be sure to give them a call. They’ll be able to tell you which things they’re specifically in need of and what types of things they accept as donations. Feeding America provides a tool to help you find a nearby food bank in your area. Northwest Arkansas: A local food bank in our area includes NWA Food Bank.
- Organize a food drive in your community, at your church, at your child’s school, at sports activities, or elsewhere. Find a need and set a goal. Then start actively pursuing donations for your drive. This is a good opportunity to get the kids involved too.
- Find other organizations to partner with in your local community. Sometimes local organizations will host backpack drives, snack drives, and other types of projects where you can get involved in the packing and distribution.
- Pack extra snacks for your child to share with a friend. Whether your child is attending day camp, school, or another activity where a packed lunch or snack is necessary, add extra food in for your child to share. This not only gives your child a chance to give, but it also opens up a conversation between you and your child.
Watch, Like, or Share Kid President
Ok, y’all, this truly is one of the easiest ways that you can give back, help promote awareness around child hunger, and donate a meal.
ConAgra Foods has partnered with Kid President to help spread the message about child hunger. I really get a kick out of this video because I remember talking into the fan…. you just have to watch it to know what I mean. Simply watch this video with your kids, Like, or share this video to help raise awareness for child hunger this summer. For each action that you take (watching, Liking, or sharing), the ConAgra Foods Foundation will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to the nation’s leading hunger-relief organization, Feeding America, up to 2 million meals!* Yes, you read that right, 2 million meals! Now get to watching. I’m serious when I say it’s a hilarious but oh so meaningful video.
*For every view, like or share of this Kid President video recorded on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+ from May 22, 2014 through July 31, 2014, the ConAgra Foods Foundation will donate 11.1¢, the cost for Feeding America to provide one meal through its network of local food banks. Minimum donation of 10,000 meals ($11,111). Maximum donation of two million meals ($222,000). Valid in U.S. only.