This post was adapted from United Way of King County information about Hunger Action Week, originally posted on the Cooking Matters Seattle blog.
United Way of King County (UWKC) is shining a bright light on hunger, asking everyone to think about their relationship to food: Who has food, who doesn’t, where does your food come from? They’re promoting Hunger Action Week 2012, March 19-24 and encourage us all to sign up to participate! When you do, you’ll learn about ways you can get involved locally and be part of a movement that is helping to assure that everyone in our community can put nourishing food on the table.
How you can help:
- Sign up to participate in Hunger Action Week.
- Volunteer for local hunger relief.
- Help UWKC get a Food Security Count.
- Learn more about the Hunger Relief Now! plan.
- Host a dinner party or potluck with friends and family using foods typically found at a food bank, or ask guests to bring nonperishable items to donate to your local food bank.
- If you plan on hosting a food drive, contact your local food bank to see what they need and when you can deliver it.
- Take the Hunger Challenge! And if you do, write about it and share your story (firstname.lastname@example.org), and consider donating what you save this week on food.
What does Hunger Action Week hope to accomplish?
The purpose of Hunger Action Week is to raise awareness around hunger. Most people don’t realize how many people are struggling. For most of us, it’s so easy to forget that many in America don’t know where their next meal will come from – or that many have to choose between having enough food to eat and paying for rent.
Data from the Adequate Food in King County section of the Communities Count report, released in February 2012:
- 20% of King County children are food insecure. That means 1 in 5 King County kids are at risk of going hungry.
- 13% of King County residents – or 249,260 people – are food insecure.
- 9% of King County households ran out of food in 2010 – up from 6% in 2007.
- In King County, 49% of Hispanic households with children are food-insecure.
- 15% of South King County Region residents could not afford balanced meals; 8% went hungry.
And King County food assistance programs show that the need continues to climb:
- Basic Food (SNAP) caseloads increased by 83% between 2009 and 2011.
- Seattle food banks have seen a 30% increase in the number of clients coming to them for help. At the same time, they’ve had a 31% decline in donations.
- WIC enrollment has increased steadily since 2006.
During Hunger Action Week, we want to get people thinking about, talking about, and taking action around hunger – so join the conversation!