Of course we are using this as a spin off from the notorious Got Milk campaign, but yes, here at Roadrunner Food Bank we have gone orange this month. Yes, we know orange isn’t a color we normally use in conjunction with our name and brand, but it does relate to hunger. How you say? Well, I’m so glad you asked.
Orange marks the color of Hunger Action Month. All month long at Roadrunner Food Bank we are Speaking Out Against Hunger in September and invite you to join us. Earlier today our staff got together and participated in the simple task of taking a photo in orange shirts and sharing that photo here with you and other social sites. It is one way our staff is demonstrating that hunger is an issue important to us and one we want to fix.
We are also speaking out against hunger because of recent results from the latest USDA report on food insecurity. For those of us at the Food Bank, ‘food insecure’ means hunger.
The report shows that there are a record number of hungry people in our country and right here in New Mexico too. From the report 22.8% of New Mexicans are experiencing hunger right now compared to 19.4% last year. That means every 4th person or nearly 475,000 people in our state are hungry. This is up 86,000 people from the year prior.
We agree these numbers are depressing. But each number in that 475,000 figure represents a person. It might be a child, your child who needs our help with food. It might be your grandfather or grandmother whose pension or social security isn’t enough to cover the groceries anymore. It could be the single parent that lost their job a year ago, can’t find employment, is losing their home and no longer has enough money to buy groceries for the two children in their home.
Each is a person counting on us for help. Not in 5 years or in a couple months, but now.
That is why we are here writing to you! Help us turn these numbers around by taking action and speaking out against hunger this month.
Throughout the month we have come up ways you can be a part and take an active role in making others aware of the hunger issue in our community. They are simple, nothing too complex, but ways you can reach out to your network of connections with five easily do-able activities.
First, write or call our elected officials and tell them to protect and properly fund federal hunger programs in the Farm Bill. Right now, Congress continues to look at severe reductions in SNAP (food stamp benefits) and other federal hunger programs now and into the future. If these cuts occur, the first place that people will turn to are food banks and the agencies we serve. Our hunger programs across the state are already overwhelmed. The increases we experienced when the economy turned in 2008 are still being felt and likely will be felt for years. If federal hunger programs are cut, the charitable hunger system will be placed in a crisis type situation and likely in a position where our response is inhibited.
Two, we want you Meet Hungry Kate. View and share her two-minute story. Copy this link – yes you have our permission – (http://youtu.be/9cyWXlKRF3Y). Put it in an email or on your social media sites and share it with your friends, colleagues, and loved ones.
Three, make us part of your giving. Monetary gifts to the Food Bank allow us to accomplish our work in moving food across the state and providing food to hundreds of agencies, sites, schools, etc. every day. Our trucks travel hundreds of thousands of miles every year bringing food to urban, rural and suburban communities. But we can’t provide food to hungry people without a constant stream of support from you…our community. Please consider giving.
Four, GO ORANGE! Yes, we got orange and we want you to get orange too! Wear orange, display orange, turn your website, social sites orange – and tell people why you are going orange!
Five, download and share our 2013 Hunger Action Month Calendar – Option 4. These are quick daily tips to remind you about hunger in our community. Share it, copy it – yes, you still have our permission to plaster it all over!
We thank you! How could we possibly continue our mission of feeding hunger and feeding hope without you? You, our partners, friends, donors, agencies, and on and on. You are the rope that keeps the knot strong and make our work possible!
Thank you for Speaking Out Against Hunger this month! For more information on Hunger Action Month visit here.