By Jennifer Spencer, Social Media Ambassador for the Food Bank of Central & Eastern NC
September is Hunger Action Month. When I say that, you might be conjuring up an image of a hollow-cheeked, wide-eyed child with dirt on her face, looking sadly into a camera. And yes, hunger certainly can look like that. But the daily truth seen every day at the Food Bank is that hunger today is not relegated to the outskirts of cities or the poorest populations. There are nearly 650,000 food insecure people in the 34 counties served by the Food Bank, and the numbers keep rising. With so many people who are food insecure, it’s likely that if you don’t know from personal experience what I’m talking about, you know someone who does.
The face of hunger is at the bus stop with your kids. It’s next to you at work. It’s in the car behind you on the Beltline. It’s the mom at preschool drop-off wearing yoga pants who always looks so put together. The face of food insecurity has been my own, stuck in a paycheck-to-paycheck cycle and hovering over the free apps at networking events in order to eat dinner.
The families who receive food from the Food Bank’s partner agencies are your neighbors. The children who benefit from the Kids Summer Meals program are your future mayors, city councilors, brain surgeons, maybe even your President. Every time someone goes hungry, or has to choose between buying medication or food, it puts our future and our communities at risk. Investing in hunger elimination is a true investment in the future.
That’s why I joined the Food Bank as a volunteer Social Media Ambassador. As one person, my time and money is limited. With the amplification of social media I can turn my power of one into the power of many, making a true impact for the Food Bank and North Carolina communities. Together we can give kids and families a chance to learn, to grow strong, and to spread healthy habits in their families and neighborhoods.
So during Hunger Action Month, take action. Sign up to volunteer at the Food Bank. No time? Donate some money. No money? Hold a food drive. You can join me as a Social Media Ambassador (we’re a pretty amazing group, if I say so myself) or just see what it’s all about on September 11-12 during the #FoodBank24 New Media Telethon. There is no action too small when it comes to solving hunger, and no good reason not to help.
Jennifer Spencer is an awesome Social Media Ambassador for the Food Bank. You can join her and help raise awareness of food insecurity this month by downloading our free Hunger Action Month calendar. Our premier digital and social media event, the #FoodBank24 24-Hour New Media Telethon starts this Friday, September 11 at noon. Learn more and watch the show here: www.foodbank24.org.