Child Hunger: Mile High Mamas Visit Food Bank of the Rockies
Over 17 million kids in the US are at risk of hunger and nearly 1 in 4 children are not certain where their next meal will come from according to national statistics on childhood hunger. 20 percent or more of the child population in 16 states and D.C. are living in food insecure households.
Last Saturday a group of bloggers from Mile High Mamas in Denver, CO had the chance to visit Food Bank of the Rockies where we were able to see first-hand how Feeding America partner banks are helping to put a dent in childhood hunger. This particular food bank supplies food to over 1,100 food pantries in Colorado and Wyoming. The massive warehouses appeared stocked to the rafters. Imagine how shocking it was to hear that those food stores would be gone in just 5 days!
According to The Food Bank of the Rockies’ PR Manager Gwen Vogelzang, 42 percent of the members of households served by Food Bank of the Rockies are children under 18 years old. Weekends can be particularly hard for children who have access to breakfast and lunch at school during the weekdays. Programs such as Totes of Hope™ are helping to address this problem. Totes filled with 8 - 9 pounds of nutritious kid-friendly food are distributed to children on Fridays to take home over the weekend.
Feeding America states 62 percent of all client households with children under the age of 18 participated in a school lunch program, but only 14 percent participated in a summer feeding program that provides free food when school is out. Explaining why donating to your local food pantry is vital at this time of year!
The message was clear during our tour, while they are grateful for any donations received, MONEY is the most valuable. Food banks typically have much greater buying power than the average consumer. Cash donations allow them to best fill the needs of their communities by allowing them to purchase local, fresh products.
While cash donations are always best, right now (through May 31st) you can help by purchasing select ConAgra Foods. When you enter their code online, the company will donate one meal to Feeding America – up to 2.5 million meals this during the time period to our local food banks. Visit www.childhungerendshere.com and enter the eight-digit purchase code found on specially-marked packages. Participating brands include: Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice, Fresh Mixers, Kid Cuisine, Marie Callender’s and Peter Pan.
How do you plan on spreading awareness of the child hunger issue in the United States? What actions will you take to donate to your local food pantry this year?