Feeding the Hungry: Season of Service Challenge 1

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I am a firm believer that charity begins at home. How can one even think of hungry people in Africa, for instance, without first, and perhaps more easily, thinking of those people you know who are in need? This week is the first week in Mom It Forward's Season of Service challenge, and is sponsored by Hamburger Helper. Here are 10 bite-size ways to help feed the hungry:

  1. Start small. Feed your family one nice, full-course, homemade, healthy meal.
  2. Identify a sibling that you don't talk with frequently. Ask him or her over for dinner.
  3. Along those same lines, if you live close to your parents or parents-in-law, consider hosting a Sunday or holiday dinner at your house.
  4. Next your neighborhood. Pick a neighbor you haven't yet met. Bake some cookies or brownies and take them to them. Taking the time to make something from scratch will make a big difference.
  5. Next, your community or city. Most cities have a senior center that can either put you in touch with seniors who are in need or direct you to a chapter of Meals-on-Wheels.
  6. Next, your county. Find your local United Way's website. My local United Way has a database of local nonprofits you can either donate to or volunteer for, searchable by many different parameters. Donate $20 or 2 hours of your time.
  7. Next, your state. Google the address of your state's food bank(s). Find the nearest one. If possible, plan your next grocery shopping trip close by. Buy $25 of extra groceries and drop them off on your way home. The charitynavigator is a good place to go to find food banks, particularly ones that have been rated by them.
  8. Next, the country. Visit feedingamerica or a similar site to make a $30 contribution. This organization determines which food banks in the country need help the most, then send your donations on to them.
  9. Next, the world. Don't stop! Pick a country besides your own. Of course, we all know that hunger is pandemic in Africa, so if that's where you want to give, do. But don't forget that there are hungry people even in Canada. Visit canadiancharities for referrals to hunger organizations there, or google "food banks" of the country of your choice.
  10. Repeat.

There was an episode of the popular sitcom "Friends" in which Joey challenged Phoebe to do an act of service that in no way benefited her. She was hard-pressed to do it. It is the same here: when we improve the situation of one, we cannot help but improve ours as well. Well-fed people are happier, more productive, more engaged. Doesn't everything run better when everyone's engaged?

How Will You Help Feed the Hungry This Week?

  • What other ideas do you have for feeding the hungry?
  • How has feeding others, even your own children, made a meaningful difference this week?
  • Who have you fed this week and what difference has that made in your life?

How Else Can You Make a Difference This Season?

Make a meaningful difference this season by taking the Season of Service (SOS) Challenge. Here's how you can participate:

  • Commit to do one act of kindness/service based on the week's challenge (check each Monday for the weekly challenge).
  • Leave a comment with ideas relating to the week's challenge as well as your experience(s) performing it.
  • Enter to win each week's giveaway. Check out this week's prizes from Hamburger Helper by clicking here.
  • Join the Hamburger Helper and Feeding America¬†#gno Twitter party this Tuesday, November 9 (9-11 p.m. ET) to connect with other Mom It Forward moms about the challenge.

What will you do this week to change the world?

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