The fight against hunger often focuses on how widespread the problem is--and how challenging the issue itself is. Unfortunately, kids and teens are typically left out of the conversation. But not anymore!
For the third year, we've teamed up with C&S Whole Grocers for the Make Your Mark on Hunger campaign! This campaign challenges kids and teens to take action to address the issue of hunger in the U.S. through meaningful hands-on service in their communities.
If you're not sure where to start, we've collected a few ideas from the archives and some of this years' grantees to get you started:
Create healthy cooking kits.
Even when people have access to healthy food options, knowing what to do with them can be hard. One of this year's Make Your Mark on Hunger grantees, the Safe Haven Kids of Roanoke, Virginia, is addressing that issue by creating a healthy cooking kits complete with a cookbook full of recipes, healthy trail mix and flyers about local community gardens and donating them to local food pantries! The youth will be distributing them to local food pantries to be given to families in the community.
Start a community garden.
Not everyone has access to healthy food. Find space in your community (or your backyard) to grow vegetables that can be donated to a local food bank or senior center. By creating a community garden, you can help alleviate some of the health-related effects of hunger!
Show others what limited food choice is like.
Make Your Mark on Hunger grantees from South High School, of Valley Stream, New York, started an "Empty Bowls" event a few years ago to help students and families understand how challenging it can be to put food on the table with limited options. The group was able to do this by only serving attendees soup, bread and water. You can host a similar event in your community and donate the proceeds to a local food pantry.
Learn about different types of hunger.
While children are often the focus of hunger education, it's not often we hear about how hunger affects seniors or people living in rural areas. You can use one of our fact sheets to learn more about these types of hunger or check out these lesson plans from our partner, Learning to Give!
Solve an old problem with a new skill.
Couponing isn't just for the people you see on TV--it's a skill that can be applied in our daily lives, too! Make Your Mark on Hunger grantee Kate Atschinow, of Highland Park, New Jersey, founded CuttingOutHunger, an organization that uses the extreme couponing concept to purchase food for a local food pantry. Just like Kate, you can help teach those in need how to coupon so that they are able to buy the healthy foods they need on a limited budget!
Host a film screening about hunger.
Rather than just donating to an organization that combats hunger, teach your community about the various ways hunger affects the world by hosting a film screening at your school or community center! A few documentaries you could show are Thought for Food, We Feed the World, or one of the 8 films recommended by the World Food Program.
Plus, you can double your impact by asking for a non-perishable food item as entry to the film!
Take time to reflect.
With so many different ways to learn about and fight hunger, it can be a bit overwhelming. You can stop and reflect about how your work will impact the issue of hunger with one of our reflection guides.
If these projects inspired you to fight hunger in your community, then join us for the third annual Make Your Mark on Hunger campaign! This campaign, sponsored by C&S Wholesale Grocers, challenges kids and teens to take action to address the issue of hunger in the U.S. through meaningful hands-on service in their communities.
Participating is free and easy. Head to generationOn.org/hunger to share your volunteer service, upload a photo and tell us your story for a change to be entered to win awesome grants!