I hope this Feel Good Friday comes as part of a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend for you. With much of the focus of this holiday on both family and food, I want to highlight an organization that is Feeding America.
As succinctly explained on Twitter, Feeding America is a "nation-wide hunger relief charity helping more than 46 million Americans yearly including 12 million children and 7 million seniors." You can read some statistics on hunger here. The quick story is that 72 billion pounds of edible food goes to waste each year in the U.S. while 1 in 8 Americans struggle with hunger.
Feeding America came about in 1979 when Van Hengel, who established a food bank in Arizona in the 1960s, created a national organization for food banks called Second Harvest. The name was changed to Feeding America in 2008 to reflect the mission of the organization and it's since grown into a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs across the country.
Here's how it works. "Feeding America secures donations from national food and grocery manufacturers, retailers, shippers, packers and growers and from government agencies and other organizations." The food is shipped to and stored at food banks across the country who distribute it through pantries and meal programs like the SF-Marin Food Bank. There are also a variety of programs such as Disaster Food Assistance, a Backpack Program and a Senior Grocery Program, all of which you can read about here.
Last year, with their partners, Feeding America provided food for 4 billion people! To see what this looks like in action, watch this short video. When not distributing food, Feeding America also raises public awareness about hunger, conducts research and has policy staff in Washington DC to advocate for programs that protect people from hunger.
To support their work you can take action by becoming a volunteer, an advocate, or donating some cash. You can also show your appreciation by liking their Facebook page and following them on Twitter @FeedingAmerica. "Together we can solve hunger".