At barbecues, picnics and family reunions all across the country this summer, the most anticipated question of the day was “Who’s Hungry?”. Shouted out by the host, it signals that the hot dogs and hamburgers are ready and let the party begin.

But for many, especially for those who fight hunger on a daily basis, the question is real, and getting answers is difficult. For those who gather at our country’s table, the answer to the question of who’s really hungry, by all accounts close to 50 million Americans, is often not shouted out.  The voices of the elderly, the disabled, the homeless and the working poor are muffled at best.

30 Days hath September

This September is the 10th Anniversary of Hunger Action Month – Feeding America’s 30 day campaign to to raise awareness and encourage action against hunger.  Celebrities such as Kristen Bell will be featured on billboards and TV spots.  Social media will light up with a call to action.  Food banks across the country, will post up actions from the very simple like a monetary donation, to the more involved like starting a food drive.

Not coincidentally, September also marks the start of the holiday food drive season. Over 50% of the country’s food drives will occur between now and December.  Even in light of the upward trend in obesity, diabetes and heart disease, the traditional canned food drive is still popular – and convenient. Even though most canned food probably has more sodium than anyone should consume in a day.

Food drive 2.0

This year, Feeding America and #GiveHealthy have partnered in a pilot project to make it easier for people organize a food drive that donates healthy food to food banks. The #GiveHealthy model allows for virtual food drive donations of nutritious fruits and vegetables to be collected and delivered to foodbanks. For the donor, the online process is an easy way to give the food bank exactly what is healthy. For the food bank it’s easier too, since the produce arrives presorted, packaged and ready to be delivered to agencies without the need of additional volunteers.

If you would like more information on starting your own healthy food drive, click here.

The MAV Foundation, dedicated to the task helping food drives and food pantries become healthier, is a sponsor of this pilot.

The participating food banks are listed below with their contact information:

Community Food Share, Louisville, CO
Catholic Charities Food Bank of the Southern Tier, Elmira, NY
Placer Food Bank, Roseville, CA
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan, Flint, MI
Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, Milwaukee, WI
Feed My People Food Bank, Eau Claire, WI
Second Harvest Food Bank of Southern Wisconsin, Madison WI
Second Harvest Food Bank Riverside & San Bernadino, Riverside, CA

This September, do more than just ask the question “Who’s hungry?”
Take action.