There are a lot of hungry people in the United States. In fact, according to the World Hunger Education Service, one in seven American households struggled with food security issues in 2013. If you’re wanting to make a big difference this holiday season, check out how you can help feed members of your community:
Volunteer at a soup kitchen: These are amazing places — often run by churches or community organizations — that feed hungry and homeless people meals. As a volunteer, you can work a few hours a week to help with setting up, serving meals, cleaning up, or more. Just Google “soup kitchen” and the name of your city or town.
Organize a food drive: Talk to your principal about setting up bins to collect non-perishable cans at your school. Or plan an event–like a dance or a car wash–where students can bring in cans in exchange for admission. Items that food pantries need most are often peanut butter, canned beans and meat, pasta, and baby formula. And check out Feeding America, which provides helpful guidelines for food donation.
Adopt a family: When you adopt a needy family for the holidays, you can provide gifts for parents and kids, but also donate canned food or gift certificates to local grocery stores. Making another family’s holiday special is a pretty big deal–but it will cost some money, too, so be realistic. This may be a great activity to plan with your group of friends or with your own family, so that you can spread out the expense a bit. Your local Salvation Army is one place that can help match you to a family in need.
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