For over 34 million Americans, satisfying hunger is not as simple as reaching into the refrigerator and knowing something nutritious will be there. Statistically, 1 in 10 Americans struggle with finding their next meal, with 1 in 8 children and 1 in 14 older adults experiencing hunger on a daily basis. Many Americans are often forced to choose between paying bills or unexpected expenses and purchasing food.
Did you know…
- Both hunger and food insecurity are common challenges that families face as a result of a health crisis, job loss, or other unexpected event. Food insecurity “is a household-level economic and social condition of limited or uncertain access to adequate food.” While hunger “is an individual-level physiological condition that may result from food insecurity.” *
- Nationally, more than 12 million children rely on free or reduced breakfast and lunch at school for a warm, healthy meal.
- One-third (38%) of the food in America goes uneaten or unsold. “That’s almost 149 billion meals worth of food that’s wasted each year.” *
Despite its wealth, more than 132,000 residents in Palm Beach County struggle with hunger. 37,350 of these residents are children who do not have enough to eat on a daily basis. * United Way of Palm Beach County and our 60+ partners work year-round on identifying needs, coordinating efforts, and building infrastructure so that everyone can have access to healthy foods. Part of United Way of Palm Beach County’s hunger relief efforts also include raising awareness and educating our community. This is especially true during September – Hunger Action Month. Hunger Action Month invites people everywhere to TAKE ACTION and join together to end hunger.
How can you take action during Hunger Action Month?
- Wear orange for Hunger Action Day on September 23rd (observed on September 22nd) and educate your friends and family.
- Donate funds. Click here to donate today and help support our community and improve the lives of those who need it most! By donating to United Way of Palm Beach County, you’re helping us tackle food insecurity for our neighbors in need.
- Donate food to your local food bank or food pantry. Food banks and food pantries are a critical resource for many Americans, especially with the increased cost of food. More and more people are becoming dependent on food from food banks and pantries to feed their families.
- Volunteer at your local food bank or food pantry. Combine your giving spirit with your passion for relieving hunger for those in need by donating your time to help your local food bank or food pantry sort and pack food to be distributed to residents struggling with food insecurity.
- Participate in the SNAP Challenge. The SNAP Challenge gives participants a glimpse into some of the struggles faced by millions of low-income Americans who are trying to put food on their tables. Participants use the average SNAP benefit as their budget for food for one week. The Challenge provides an opportunity for participants to experience how difficult it is for families living on SNAP to simultaneously avoid hunger, afford nutritious foods, and stay healthy with limited resources. Over the years, hundreds of Members of Congress, governors, state officials, journalists, and other community leaders have taken the Challenge and have learned firsthand what it is like to try to make ends meet on the average SNAP. Click here to view our SNAP Challenge guidelines.
The strength of our community depends on our ability to collectively work together to ensure everyone has access to basic necessities, including enough nutritious food to eat. Healthy families mean healthy communities. United Way of Palm Beach County is finding creative and innovative solutions to help our community narrow the gap in accessing nutritious food. YOU CAN HELP!
To learn more about United Way of Palm Beach County’s hunger relief efforts, please click here.
“Definitions of Food Security.” USDA ERS – Definitions of Food Security, 17 Oct. 2022, www.ers.usda.gov/topics/food-nutrition-assistance/food-security-in-the-u-s/definitions-of-food-security/.
“Food Waste Problem.” ReFed – Food Waste Problem, https://refed.org/food-waste/the-problem.
“Food Insecurity among Overall (all ages) Population in the United States.” Feeding America, https://map.feedingamerica.org/.