While hunger in the U.S. may seem stubbornly persistent, the power to create a hunger-free future is in our hands. For instance, recent data shows how rates of food insecurity decreased during the first years of the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent article from Children’s Defense Fund indicates how, with pandemic-era emergency support for SNAP and WIC, the number of children in food insecure households declined 11.7 million to 9.3 million, a decrease of over 20%. However, the article goes on to outline the challenges that families are facing now that the federal Public Health Emergency benefits have ended. Community food pantries and food banks continue to have high demand for their resources, despite other signs of economic recovery. Additionally, food insecurity rates among members of Gen Z, currently ages 11 – 26 years old, have soared to 30%1
Each year in September organizations across the U.S. unite to raise awareness about hunger and inspire action for Hunger Action Month. We all have a part to play in advocating for an end to hunger—here are a few suggestions for ways you can get involved this fall:
- Register now for the September End Hunger Challenge, a free online curriculum spanning five days that outlines the root causes of hunger, practical solutions, and suggested actions for advocates. Registered participants will receive a welcome email, instructions for accessing the content and the opportunity to gain a certificate of completion detailing volunteer hours spent on the course. Course content includes short videos to watch, podcast episodes to listen to, infographics to peruse, and the latest research to explore. Sign up today on our Zero Hunger Academy platform.
- Lead a group discussion using our short video series Food Insecurity in the U.S.: Problems, Programs and Policy. Our discussion guide will help you use the videos to spark discussions and get people thinking about how they can take action to end hunger in the U.S. So gather a group of volunteers, coworkers, or friends, check out the resources and get started here.
- Spread the word about the End Hunger in 30 Challenge, coming in October. The challenge is an online course that trains effective anti-hunger advocates. Over 30 days, challenge-takers receive daily mini-lessons on the scope, scale, and root causes of hunger in the U.S., the most effective federal policy solutions, and ways to advocate for ending hunger in their home communities. If this sounds like the right opportunity for your students, volunteers, employees, or board of directors, let us know—get in touch using the form on our website.
- Commemorate the September 11th National Day of Service by volunteering at a local food pantry, hosting a food drive, or using your voice to let elected officials know about food insecurity in your community. More resources can be found through Americorps.
“Over the past 15 months, I’ve been so inspired by hundreds of advocates from around the country who have reached out to the Hunger Center wanting to learn what they can do to help,” writes Liz Pearce, Partnership and Outreach Specialist. “I’ve seen people step outside their comfort zone and connect with elected officials. I’ve spoken to business groups that have taken the End Hunger Challenge as a team and bonded over their new shared understanding. It’s crucial that we continue to advocate for better outcomes in the U.S. We’ll be highlighting many ways for people to get involved throughout the month and we’d love to hear your ideas and actions too! We hope you’ll join us.”
Let your friends, family, and colleagues know Hunger Action Month is coming—download the graphics below to spread the word on social media.
- Chris Campbell, The Food Institute, Gen Z Among the Hardest Hit by Food Insecurity foodinstitute.com/focus/gen-z-among-the-hardest-hit-by-food-insecurity (accessed August 4, 2023).