September is National Hunger Action Month: How will you make a difference?
This September, Oregon Food Bank and more than 200 Feeding America-affiliated food banks across the nation will unite during Hunger Action Month to encourage individuals, businesses and elected officials to take action to eliminate hunger.
“Hunger Action Month is a growing movement in our nation,” said Susannah Morgan, Oregon Food Bank’s CEO. “It’s a powerful way to showcase the critical work that food banks across the country are doing to help our neighbors in need. And it’s a good reminder that ordinary people can make an extraordinary difference by becoming involved with their communities to raise awareness and take action.”
Oregon Food Bank encourages you to take action and join us. There are many ways to get involved.
Tell the World
How are you helping to end hunger? Do you volunteer your time? Donate food or funds? Or share OFB’s story on your Facebook or Twitter pages? Share your story by downloading and printing our Hunger Action Month message. Then, fill it out, snap a photo of you holding it and post it to OFB's Instagram feed.
Go Orange for Hunger
This September, Go Orange for Hunger to raise awareness of this critical issue. Encourage y our friends and family to wear orange – the official color of Hunger Action Month. You can also light up your home or office building with an orange light or share how you Go Orange on OFB's Facebook and Twitter pages using #HungerAction.
30 Ways in 30 Days
Oregon Food Bank encourages you to take action to help fight hunger during Hunger Action Month in September. There are many ways to get involved. To learn more, take a look through our list of 30 ways that you can fight hunger in 30 days. Thanks for your support!
- 1. Volunteer on 9/11, National Day of Service.
- Sept. 11, 2013 is a National Day of Service and Remembrance. This special day is designed to rekindle the spirit of unity and service that inspired Americans in the days after the September 11, 2001 tragedy. You can help by signing up to repack food at Oregon Food Bank. The food you repack during your volunteer shift will be distributed to hunger-relief agencies throughout Oregon and Clark County, Wash. Sign up.
- 2. Support your local Farmer's Market
Share our passion for making fresh fruits and vegetables more accessible to people who rely on SNAP for their food budgets. Farmers markets across Oregon have teamed up with businesses and nonprofits to start matching programs for food stamps recipients. The benefits, supporters say, are twofold: Poor people eat healthier while supporting local farmers.
- 3. Spread the word about Oregon Food Bank and hunger through social media.
Join our online community by liking us on Facebook, or following us on Twitter.
We also encourage you to send a message about Oregon Food Bank through your social networks during Hunger Action Month. Encourage your contacts to take action by visiting our website at www.oregonfoodbank.org.
- 4. Visit or volunteer at an OFB Network partner agency.
- Volunteering at one of Oregon Food Bank's partner agencies gives you an opportunity to make a direct impact, close to home. Whether you help stock shelves, prepare emergency food boxes or help with office or maintenance work, many local agencies can benefit from your donation of time and service. Learn more.
- 5. Donate produce through the Plant a Row program.
- It's harvest season. Consider donating your extra garden produce to local hunger-relief agencies. Learn more about the program and about where to drop off produce donations.
- 6. Read a book about hunger.
Learn more about the effects of poverty and hunger on people's lives. There are many good books available, here are some recommendations to help you get started.
Books for adults:
- All You Can Eat: How Hungry is America? (Joel Berg, 2008)
- Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America (Barbara Ehrenreich, 2001)
- Broke, USA: From Pawnshops to Poverty, Inc., How the Working Poor Became Big Business (Gary Rivlin, 2010)
- The Paradox of Plenty: Hunger in a Bountiful World (Douglas M. Boucher, 1999)
- Hungry Planet: What the World Eats (Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio, 2005)
- The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl (Timothy Egan, 2006)
Books for children:
- The Greatest Table: A Banquet to Fight Against Hunger (Michael J. Rosen, 1994)
- A Kids’ Guide to Hunger and Homelessness: How to Take Action (Cathryn Berger Kaye, 2007)
- The Berenstain Bears Think of Those in Need (Stan and Jan Berenstain, 1999)
- Uncle Willie & the Soup Kitchen (DyAnne DiSalvo-Ryan, 1991)
- Tight Times (Barbara Shook Hazan, 1979)
- Spenser Goes to Portland (Spenser & Mom, Melanie Brooks, 2008)
- 7. Hold a food and fund drive in your community.
- Community food and fund drives provide nutritious food and vital operating funds for Oregon Food Bank while raising awareness of hunger issues in our communities. Learn about how to get started, find stories and ideas or download our food and fund drive kit.
- 8. Learn about the statewide network.
- Did you know that Oregon Food Bank distributes food to 20 regional food banks across Oregon? Learn about the OFB statewide network of regional food banks and consider paying a visit or making a donation to a network regional food bank.
- 9. Donate funds.
Every gift of any amount makes a big impact in the fight against hunger. Please consider making a donation today.
Donations keep our freezers running and our trucks on the road. They also support our innovative programs to address the root causes of hunger through advocacy and education. Monetary donations also allow OFB to purchase bulk food to be repacked by volunteers. Because we make large, bulk purchases, our cost per pound of food is far lower than that of food bought at retail prices by individuals. Donate now.
- 10. Volunteer in OFB's Learning Gardens.
- Enjoy working outdoors? Our Learning Gardens in northeast Portland and Beaverton offer a great opportunity to address the root causes of hunger. Learn more and sign up.
- 11. Join OFB's Monthly Sustainers Club.
- Join the club! Enjoy the convenience of automatic donations that are budgeted and balanced throughout the year while helping Oregon Food Bank fight hunger in the most cost-effective, efficient way possible. Sign up online, or contact Kelli Rule at 503-853-8727, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 12. Visit oregonfoodbank.org to learn more about hunger and how you can help.
- Our website is full of great information and ideas about how you can get involved in the fight against hunger. Start on our homepage, find a topic that interests you and explore!
- 13. Join the Speakers' Bureau.
From schools, to businesses, to community service groups, OFB gets a large number and variety of requests for presentations. Speakers' Bureau volunteers help us respond to these requests. Do you enjoy public speaking? Are you interested in helping to educate the public about hunger? This might be the opportunity for you.
- Volunteers must be ages 16 and up and attend a mandatory, three-night training that focuses on presentation skills and talking points.
- Trainings are typically held in fall and spring.
- Read the volunteer job description
- Fill out the application. This will ensure that you are on our mailing list to receive information about future training sessions.
- 14. Sign up for monthly action alerts.
- Sign up to receive updates about OFB's public policy work to address the root causes of hunger and about simple ways that you can help. Sign up now.
- 15. Skip a meal and donate the funds to OFB.
- Most restaurant meals cost at least $10. Did you know that for every $10 donated, OFB can collect and distribute enough food to fill an emergency food box that can feed a family of four for three-to-five days? Consider skipping a meal this month and donating the cost to OFB. Make a donation.
- 16. Find and learn about your legislators.
- Do you know how to get in touch with your legislators about important issues? Find your legislators.
- 17. Put Oregon Food Bank in your will.
- Help fight hunger in perpetuity through a legacy gift to Oregon Food Bank. Your gift will help feed the future. Find more information about legacy giving online, or contact email@example.com.
- 18. Volunteer to repack food.
- Food repack volunteers help with the most basic part of our mission — getting food to the people who need it most. Many donations need sorting, repacking, labeling or other types of processing before they are ready to be sent to hunger-relief agencies. That's where you come in! Help us prepare food to be distributed through our network to hungry families. Learn more and sign up.
- 19. Talk about hunger with your kids.
Here are a few facts to help you get started.
In an average month, nearly 86,000 children eat meals from emergency food boxes. That's enough kids to fill the Rose Garden Arena six times each month.
Children who are hungry have a hard time concentrating in school and get sick more often.
Kids can help! Children can participate in food drives, volunteer and more.
- 20. Be a Champion.
- Oregon Food Bank is looking for people who are interested in creating a more just Oregon by advocating to eliminate hunger and its root causes. Working together on public policy issues, we can improve the lives of low-income Oregonians and make our state a better place to live.
Champions help us organize support for issues related to hunger, food and poverty in neighborhoods across the state. We have a variety of projects to match your talents and interests. Learn more and sign up.
- 21. Share your hunger story.
Your story is a powerful tool in fighting hunger and its root causes.
If you're not sure what to write about, you could tell us a story about your experience with any of the following issues:
- Accessing emergency food
- Losing your job in this tough economy
- Having trouble making ends meet
- Working for wages that don’t support your family
- Difficulty with medical bills
- Difficulty affording rent
- Being homeless
- Being hurt by predatory banking, lending or business practices
- How you've benefited from community food systems like farm-to-school and community garden programs
- Difficulty accessing food or services where you live
- Living with a disability and waiting for SSI or SSDI benefits
- Challenges you've encountered as an Oregon or Clark County farmer
- A time when cash assistance helped you get back on your feet
- How you've benefited from SNAP (food stamps), child nutrition programs (WIC, school breakfast and lunch, summer food, etc.) or WIC/senior farmers market coupons
- A memorable experience you had as an Oregon Food Bank advocate or volunteer
Share your story.
- 22. Host a hunger banquet in your home.
- A hunger banquet can be a powerful way to raise awareness about poverty and hunger. The banquet dramatizes the inequalities that exist within our communities. Each guest is assigned a role as they enter that represents a different income level. What each guest receives for dinner depends on which role they are playing. Oxfam has an excellent toolkit to teach people about holding a hunger banquet. Read the toolkit.
- 23. Learn about hunger in Oregon.
- Continued high unemployment and foreclosures due to the Great Recession resulted in 260,000 people per month eating meals from an emergency food box last year, up from 200,000 in 2007-08, prior to the Great Recession. Of those, 33 percent are children. OFB Network agencies continue to see new faces ... people who never thought they would need emergency food. Learn more about hunger in Oregon. Read our Hunger Factors Broadsheet.
- 24. Become a regular Fresh Alliance volunteer.
- Help get perishable food to hungry families. Work in a lively team of regular volunteers to sort, inspect, and label fresh food, such as meat, dairy and produce, donated by local grocery stores. Most Fresh Alliance volunteers attend the same shift each week, making strong friendships.
Join the team! Learn more and sign up.
- 25. Donate your vehicle.
- Your car, pickup, van, RV or boat with trailer can help fight hunger when you donate it to Oregon Food Bank. The vehicle must be complete, including tires, motor, drive line and transmission, but it doesn't need to run. Learn more.
- 26. Attend a community event to help fight hunger.
- Many businesses and other groups hold community events to benefit OFB. Check out our event calendar and plan to participate!
- 27. Buy tickets to Oregon Harvest Dinner.
- Oregon Food Bank's Board of Directors invites you to the 2013 Oregon Harvest Dinner, Saturday, Oct. 19, 2013, at Oregon Food Bank headquarters, 7900 N.E. 33rd Drive in Portland.
The event is a fun-filled gala to celebrate Oregon's harvest and to benefit Oregon Food Bank's mission. Learn more.
- 28. Give at work.
When you make a payroll deduction gift to Oregon Food Bank, you're minimizing administrative expenses and putting even more of your donation to work to fight hunger. You'll also spread your donations over the course of a year by deducting the amount you designate from each paycheck. By donating through payroll deduction, you can more easily budget your donation and enjoy a simplified donation process.
In addition, many employers will match their employees' contributions. These matching gifts can double your original donation amount. Learn more.
- 29. Honor a loved one by making a tribute gift.
- Celebrate a significant event. Honor a friend or relative or thank a co-worker. Give a tribute gift to acknowledge and spread the generous spirit of the person you choose to honor. Create a meaningful memorial. We'll provide a beautiful card to commemorate your gift. Learn more.
- 30. Learn more about the Childhood Hunger Coalition.
- The Childhood Hunger Coalition is an OFB program that brings health care professionals and anti-hunger advocates together in an effort to eliminate the public health problems caused by childhood hunger. The coalition believes that health care professionals can help identify hunger and connect families with food resources. The coalition provides education, outreach and research around the link between food security and health.
Learn more! Visit www.childhoodhunger.com and sign up for the e-mail digest by sending a message to firstname.lastname@example.org with "sign up for digest" in the subject line.