With the holidays approaching, it is easy to see how blessed most of us. Like many of you, I have never stared at bare cupboards on Christmas Eve, or cried because my kids weren’t going to have a delicious meal at thanksgiving. Although my family didn’t have much money growing up, we always had food. We were never starving. So it took me a while to adjust to the idea that there are in fact people hungry in the US and Canada. There are people who don’t know where their next meal will come from, and don’t know what to feed their children.
Did you know that 1 in 5 children in the United States goes hungry? That’s 20% who will be without adequate nutrition this Christmas! It breaks my heart to even consider that as I sit down to my Christmas feast with my friends and family, there are children who may be lucky to get a peanut butter and jam sandwich. So what can we do?
Here’s an easy way: Unilever is partnering with Feeding America to provide one million meals this holiday season. You can also help them provide one million more, by doing something you probably do already. When you engage with a #ShareAMeal post on twitter or instagram, Unilever will donate a meal to Feeding America. That means for every retweet, every like, and every post with the #ShareAMeal hashtag will give Feeding America one more meal. Pretty easy, right? Also, when you buy a participating Unilever product (i.e. Dove, Hellmann’s) in-store with their coupon delivered in the Sunday paper on November 15, Unilever will donate one meal to Feeding America.
And if that seems like you aren’t doing enough, here are some other ways you can help this holiday season:
- Donate, donate, donate to your local food bank. In addition to non perishable food items, some food banks also accept cash donations to purchase fresh produce to give customers. If yours doesn’t, think of things that offer a lot of nutrition – canned fruit and vegetables, unsweetened apple sauce, jars of vegetable filled pasta sauce, and whole wheat pasta noodles, for example.
- Help out at a soup kitchen/homeless shelter. Get the whole family involved. Let your children see how lucky they are, and how they can help others who may be less fortunate than they are. If there is none available, considering hosting a community dinner at your church or community hall, and invite everyone to come!
- Adopt a family in need. Host them for dinner, and send care packages. You could do this for the holiday season, or year round. Send things that may be hard for them to obtain from the food bank, like fresh produce. Let your kids pick out gifts to give the children in the family. Developping this relationship will help your family just as much as it benefits the other family.
These are just a few of the ways we can help fight hunger this Christmas! You can learn more about the #ShareAMeal program at brightfuture.unilever.us. I’m hoping you’ll join me on social media and let us know how you plan to #ShareAMeal with Unilever and Feeding America this holiday season.
* I participated in the Unilever brightFuture #ShareAMeal blog program as a member of One2One Network. I received compensation but all opinions are my own. I also donated and will be participating on social media in an effort to fight hunger on behalf of myself and my family. *