WESTMORELAND COUNTY FOOD BANK ASKS THE COMMUNITY TO TAKE ACTION TO END HUNGER
Feeding America® Network Food Banks across the Country Promote Hunger Action MonthTM
This September the Westmoreland County Food Bank, together with the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks, will mobilize across all 50 states in an effort to bring an end to hunger. Hunger Action Month is designed to inspire people to take action and raise awareness of the fact that 48 million Americans, including 15 million children, are food insecure, according to the USDA.
In Westmoreland County, more than 40,000 people struggle with hunger and may not know where they’ll find their next meal. That number includes one in three kids who may not have enough to eat.
September marks the ninth year the Feeding America network of food banks has organized this annual call to action and nine years the Westmoreland County Food Bank has participated in the Hunger Action Month movement. This year the campaign will focus on the strong connections between hunger and health.
The Hunger Action Month 2016 campaign asks people to consider how it must feel to live with an empty stomach, which puts a healthy life and a promising future at risk.
“Each year, the fight to end hunger gets a little tougher as we continue to deal with state budget impasses and flat funding in government dollars, ever increasing costs of doing business, and growing need that never seems to diminish. Regardless, we remain committed to fighting food insecurity in a country, quite frankly, where this need should never exist in the first place,” said Kris Douglas, CEO of the Westmoreland County Food Bank.
According to the Feeding America study, Hunger in America 2014, nearly half of households served by the Feeding America network include someone that is in either fair or poor health.
“I’ve spent many days on the road this past year, visiting food banks,nd meal programs and meeting people who are facing hunger,” said Diana Aviv, CEO of Feeding America. “I’ve seen firsthand the anguish that food insecurity and hunger can cause. It is always heartbreaking to meet a mother or father who fears that they will not be able to feed their children. They know that their children cannot reach their full potential if they don’t have enough to eat.”
Hunger Action Day®, the second Thursday in September, is a day where efforts across the country are focused for greater impact.
This year, on September 8, the Westmoreland County Food Bank asks supporters to share what they couldn’t do without adequate nutrition by writing on an empty plate, “On an empty stomach I can’t ______,” and filling in the blank with something they couldn’t achieve without the nutrition we need to thrive.
These photos can be posted to social media with #HungerActionMonth, @westmorelandfoodbank and @FeedingAmerica to join the conversation.
“We have many activities and opportunities that everyone can take part in,” said Jennifer Miller, Director of Development with the Food Bank. “You can access our 30 Ways in 30 Days calendar online which gives you something every day in September that you can do to help end hunger in your own community, such as simply ‘liking’ WCFB on Facebook, hosting a virtual food drive, volunteering at the food bank, or donating on The Pittsburgh Foundation’s Day of Giving on September 21st!”
“With the combined effort of Feeding America, the nationwide network of food banks and hunger advocates across the country, the goal of this campaign is to raise awareness about hunger and inspire Americans to get involved,” Aviv said. “The Feeding America network is leading the fight to end hunger in the U.S. We all have a role to play in getting food to our neighbors in need. Advocate. Educate. Volunteer. Donate.”
To learn more about the Westmoreland County Food Bank and other ways you can get involved for Hunger Action Month in Westmoreland County, please visit westmorelandfoodbank.org/events/hunger-action-month/ or HungerActionMonth.org.
About Westmoreland County Food Bank
The Westmoreland County Food Bank serves over 31,000 area residents each year including 9,300 children and 3,410 seniors. WCFB currently has 62 member agencies in their network of emergency feeding sites. Of those, 44 are food pantries in which low income consumers are able to access emergency food assistance throughout the month. Last year (2015), the Food Bank distributed over 7.5 million pounds of food.
50% of WCFB’s food comes from the federal and state governments and the remaining 50% from local donations, food drives, and Feeding America. Administrative and fundraising costs account for 5% of the Food Bank’s operating budget.
About Feeding America®
Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.