Hunger in America {and easy ways to do your part}

How many of you reading this post don't have to give a second thought to filling up your grocery cart or running into the store for a few last minute ingredients for dinner?  I would guess that is the majority of us.  Many of us spend Sunday evenings planning out our meals for the week and making a grocery list.  We get the privilege of going to our store of choice and getting what we need,  and maybe even picking up a pizza on the way home.  

Sadly, this is not the reality for many in America (and all over the world).  Having grown up a poor child, I know the shame of waiting in line to pay with food stamps or having to wait a few days to buy groceries.  It's not lost on me what a great gift it is to not only be able to feed my boys foods they like AND are good for them but that I can do it with relative ease of budget.  This time of year I try to make it a point to share this realization with my boys in ways they can understand.  They see and notice so much around them that I can often just piggy back on their observations.  The homeless person on the corner, the kid in his class who doesn't get to buy pizza, the child we sponsor from Guatemala, examples are all around us if we take the time to notice them.  As their parent I try to make it real to them the fact that they are very fortunate and the things they take for granted are the very things some kids are longing for, food being one of the most important examples of this.   

I also make it "real" to our family by spending our money on purpose.  I actively seek out companies that help in their communities and avoid those with the opposite reputations.  Before this post I had never heard of Hatch (by Sheknows) but now I'm very intriqued by their business model.  It started with this impactful video.
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     Hatch was launched in 2014 in response to a SheKnows Media study that revealed moms often feel tense about their kids’ use and exposure to technology, understanding its benefits while also worrying about the digital footprint their children leave behind. Never before has a group of young people come of age with the ability to create and share content at scale.

     Hatch’s mission is to empower kids to use media and technology to express themselves in productive and positive ways. Emphasizing media literacy, digital storytelling and social issues, Hatch enables kids to create content that is responsible and represents their unique perspectives. Education is a key component of Hatch. Parents and educators are welcome to use the materials from Hatch workshops to facilitate discussions with their own teens and tweens.

AND Hatch recently paired up with Unilever's Project Sunlight (whose products you certainly buy) to to help families build awareness and take action around child hunger in America. The facts are startling: 16 million kids living in the United States don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That equates to one in every five children – enough to fill 18,000 school buses and 223 football stadiums. On average, those who live in food-insecure households have only $36.50 to spend on groceries every week.  That means that 80 percent of children may not understand the everyday struggle their peers – many of whom could be their own friends or neighbors – confront when there’s not enough food on the table. The Hatch Hunger and Project Sunlight video and workshop aims to create empathy by showing kids what it means to shop for healthy, filling meals for an entire week on a thrifty budget. It teaches important math and teamwork skills. Finally, it is about action, empowering kids to have a positive impact on their community to Share A Meal with a family in need and donating food and canned goods to local food banks.

You can find lots of ways for you and your family to get involved, in ways that are uncomplicated by going here https://www.projectsunlight.us/ From giving a meal to donating a small amount to help a hungry child. You can even get your kids involved in ways that will help them understand what you are doing.  Take them shopping and allow them to choose groceries, get them to help unload things at the food pantry, etc.  By doing our part to create others centered children we can help elimiate hungry in a world where it is not a necessary evil.
About SheKnows’ Hatch, the Hatch Hunger Project and Unilever Project Sunlight:
SheKnows’ Hatch teamed with Unilever Project Sunlight to help families build awareness and take action around child hunger in America. The facts are startling: 16 million kids living in the United States don’t know where their next meal is coming from. That equates to one in every five children – enough to fill 18,000 school buses and 223 football stadiums. On average, those who live in food-insecure households have only $36.50 to spend on groceries every week. That means that 80 percent of children may not understand the everyday struggle their peers – many of whom could be their own friends or neighbors – confront when there’s not enough food on the table. The Hatch Hunger and Project Sunlight video and workshop aims to create empathy by showing kids what it means to shop for healthy, filling meals for an entire week on a thrifty budget. It teaches important math and teamwork skills. Finally, it is about action, empowering kids to have a positive impact on their community to Share A Meal with a family in need and donating food and canned goods to local food banks.

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