By Rev. Sam Meadors
Community Coordinator, The Delta Project - 200K More Reasons
September is Hunger Action Month. People all across the country are invited to stand with Feeding America and its network of food banks to fight hunger in our communities.
Taking action against hunger is more important in 2020 than ever before. Early reports estimate that the impact of coronavirus in the last six months has reversed the progress that churches and communities have made in the last six years toward eliminating childhood hunger. In Arkansas, we have moved from 200,000 children facing food insecurity in 2014 to 164,000 in 2019. The initial projection for 2020 is that over 200,000 children will again be going hungry.
So, what can you do? Here are some ideas for your congregation, small group, or family for Hunger Action Month and leading into a reimagined Ingathering 2020.
Learn about hunger in Arkansas
Hunger cuts across every age, race, gender, and background. Dispel the myths about hunger and learn the facts by visiting feedingamerica.org or your regional food bank’s website.
Host a food drive
Churches, groups, and individuals are invited to host a food drive leading up to Ingathering in each district in November. Make sure your church is involved by speaking to your pastor or missions committee. Promote your event by inviting competition or having an awesome or even a silly prize if a certain amount of food is raised. Visit arumc.org/ingathering for more information about what your district has planned this year.
Raise funds to fight hunger
Did you know that as little as $1 can provide up to five meals for Arkansas families? Challenge your Sunday School class, small group, or whole congregation to a fundraising goal. Ask a local business or bank to match any funds you raise.
Volunteer with your local feeding ministry
Many food pantries and feeding ministries are struggling to develop a new volunteer base in light of COVID. Many volunteers have had to cut back because of the pandemic, which has put a strain on pantries facing increased demand. Call your local pantry and ask how you can volunteer. Short on time? Purchase extra nonperishable items on your next trip to the grocery store to stock up your local blessing box.
Share what you’re doing to take action on social media
Tell your friends on social media about the food fact you learned, how to donate to their regional food bank, or even a story about your experience with hunger. What you share might ignite someone else to take action in the fight against hunger!
We can all do something to take action against hunger. There is no reason why any Arkansan should not have enough to eat. If we all work together, we can make a difference.