In honor of April being National Service Month I was asked to be a ConAgra Foods Child Hunger Correspondent and I had to say yes because how could I not? The idea is to harness the power of children to help other children who are going hungry. This has been such a great opportunity to talk to my own children about how they can help others.
I have two beautiful daughters with incredibly limited palates and my biggest challenge with them food-wise is simply trying to get them to not be such picky eaters. I feel blessed that hunger is not an issue that they have ever had to deal with and we are blessed because the startling truth is that one in five children in the United States is at risk for hunger. That’s 16 million kids in this great big beautiful country of ours that are not getting enough food to eat. No, no, no! That’s just wrong and heartbreaking and something we all need to think about.
As a ConAgra Foods Child Correspondent I was asked to participate with my children in a community service project of my choice to help fight child hunger. The choice to donate food items to the San Francisco/Marin Food Bank was easy because it is something that we already do throughout the year, but this time it was different because I really took the time to have a conversation with my children about what we were doing and why. I also took them to the actual San Francisco Food Bank warehouse to donate instead of donating via the convenient food donation bins where we usually drop food off. It ended up being a multi-step rather emotional experience for us all.
On the day that we went shopping for the non-perishable food items, I talked to my daughters who are 4 and 6 years old about children who don’t have enough food to eat and how we could make a difference by buying nutritious food items for them to eat. We picked out cans of beans, cereals, granola bars, natural peanut butter and canned fruits with no added sugar. The girls were excited about doing something nice for others, but I could tell they didn’t really “get” the concept of going hungry or how many children are affected by it and in a way, I guess neither did I because the number is so monumental it’s hard to fathom.
A few days later, the girls and I drove to the San Francisco Food Bank warehouse and I was astounded by the sheer size of it. It is ENORMOUS. I thought that we had brought so much food to give and then when I looked at the size of the place which really put the NEED into perspective for me, our donation seemed so tiny. I got really choked up and teary, but I reminded myself that every single donation helps and makes a difference.
When we got back in the car after making our donation, the girls started asking me questions about hunger and why any child would be hungry for an extended period of time. I could tell that they were genuinely concerned about the issue. For the first time it struck them that for some kids it’s not as easy as telling an adult that they are hungry to have their hunger satisfied. We talked about how some kids don’t have the luxury of being picky eaters because they are lucky to get any food. They got quiet and serious.
I want my kids to be concerned, but I don’t want them to feel helpless because they aren’t. So we talked about how we could continue to help by donating food throughout the year. This made my girls happy.
The great news that should make us all happy is that all of us who do have enough to eat can do something to help fight child hunger in America. We can donate food to our local food banks and another easy way to get involved is to look for the red pushpin and locate the code found on specially marked ConAgra Foods products. For each 8-digit code entered at www.ChildHungerEndsHere.com from March-August 2015, ConAgra Foods will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America, up to 3 million meals.
Another HUGE thing that you as an adult can do to help fight child hunger is to get children involved. We truly do not give children enough credit for what they are capable of. Pretty, please check out this video that was created by SoulPancake and ConAgra Foods to encourage and empower our youngsters to help fight child hunger in America. Warning: You will get choked up!
Let’s do this! Let’s #FightHungerTogether, por please! Click on the image below and help spread the word.
*Disclosure: This post was sponsored in collaboration with ConAgra Foods and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own. I strongly believe we can #FightHungerTogether