September is Hunger Action Month, a time to renew our commitment to ensuring everyone has access to enough food for a good life. The task seems daunting since nearly 800 million people worldwide don’t get enough to eat. Even in a wealthy country like the U.S., nearly 50 million Americans are going hungry. Hunger is not simply a single missed meal. When experiencing consistent missed meals, people’s potential to learn and succeed, on the job and in the classroom becomes a chronic hunger problem.
United Ways throughout the world aim to alleviate hunger and disrupt the cycle of poverty year-round. In the U.S., we increase our efforts during summer months to make sure that children from low-income households continue to receive nutritious meals when school is not in session. For the past few months, United Ways from Atlanta to Sacramento were able to do even more, thanks to support from Kellogg’s 3 Billion Better Days initiative. The company’s worldwide hunger relief effort includes donating food to people in need; expanding breakfast programs; supporting farmers, their families, and communities; mobilizing its vast workforce and engaging many millions of others in food security efforts.
Through community events, marketing, and outreach to students who were finishing summer school, each participating United Way made it their mission by the summer’s end to have brought “Better Days” to thousands of children across the nation. Kellogg’s supported United Way summer meals programs like Silence the Growl in United Way of Greater Atlanta and United Way of Metropolitan Dallas; United Way of King County’s Food Invasion program; and United Way California Capital Region’s Healthy Meals program.
Now that summer’s over, what can you do? Volunteer at a food bank or mobile food pantry. Find out what they need most and organize a food drive at work or with friends. Participate in a meal packing event or a Stone Soup event, where even young children can help assemble and donate a meal. Your local United Way can help you find events like these. And get the word out about hunger: share how you can end hunger with your friends and family.