(Family Features) Hunger in America is much closer than you may think. With the USDA reporting that one in eight Americans struggles with hunger, including more than 13 million children, food insecurity is an issue facing families in every county across the country. Spring and summer are especially difficult. During this time, food banks face a “spring hunger gap,” when food supply is often at its lowest level. Also, during the summer when school is not in session, millions of children lose access to free and reduced-price meals.
To help provide meals to people struggling with hunger, companies like Walmart have created unique campaigns like “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” that call on the public to take action and join in the fight against hunger. The campaign takes place every spring and encourages the millions of customers who shop at its stores each week to take action by supporting the Feeding America network of food banks and the more than 46 million Americans it serves throughout the country.
“The campaign is an important part of Walmart’s commitment to helping families who struggle with hunger,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “Together with our suppliers, customers and friends at Feeding America, we’re dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of those who live and work in the communities we serve.”
The “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign provides support to each of Feeding America’s 200 member food banks. The retailer’s commitment to fighting hunger can be seen through food bank programs across the country, such as those offered at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina in Charlotte and Feeding Tampa Bay.
Feeding Tampa Bay’s Summer Meals Program provide kids with free, nutritious meals when school lets out and many lose access to free and reduced-priced meals. In addition, the Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina’s Backpack Program helps ensure kids facing hunger have access to nutritious, ready to eat or easy to prepare foods on weekends and during holidays when school lunches aren’t available.
Getting involved to help fight hunger in your community may be easier than you think. Here’s what you can do:
Volunteer. It doesn’t take a big time commitment to make an impact. Visit your local Feeding America food bank and ask about volunteer opportunities.
Donate. If you can’t contribute time, donate food or money. Your local Feeding America food bank can always use help restocking its shelves.
Spread the word. Get to know the facts about hunger and spread the word through your social media activities. The “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign relies heavily on social media to raise awareness of the issue and drive donations to Feeding America food banks across the country.
To learn more about what you can do to help curb the spring hunger gap and provide meals to families facing hunger in your community, visit walmart.com/fighthunger.