The Daily Meal's Laura Pucillo looks at the harsh reality of this country and the world and brings you ways to fight hunger in America.
It’s difficult to imagine that in America—a country that prides itself on fairness and equal opportunity—there are children who don’t get enough to eat, families that are starving, and elderly people who are malnourished because of an inability to pay for healthy food.
There are over 46 million people living in poverty in the United States — but an even larger number of Americans are reside in households with very low food security. The thought of so many people in the U.S. suffering from poor nutrition or a shortage of food is disheartening. Fortunately, there are hundreds of hunger relief organizations dedicated to solving the problem, and there’s plenty that we can all do to help.
The Daily Meal is dedicated to good things to eat and drink — on every level, from street food to haute cuisine — but frankly we don't spend as much time as we should thinking about those to whom, as Paul Simon once put it, "the evening meal is negotiable, if there is one." As the weather takes a cold turn and the holidays (with their attendant feasting) fast approach, life can become even more difficult for those less fortunate.
We searched the internet and canvassed friends and colleagues and came up with 51 ideas for ways that we can start making a difference right now. Some are as simple as clicking a link, sending a tweet, or listening to the radio; others are as time-consuming and collaborative as planting and tending a garden. There are products to buy, donations to send, films to watch. You can even make a contribution by going shopping, using an app, or taking a quiz. All these actions will, to a greater or lesser extent, lead to more food on somebody's table. They aren't definitive solutions to the problem. But they're a start. (If a locally focused program from the list below appeals to you but isn't in your area, contact them: Maybe you can start your own version.)
But don't stop with what you'll find here. There are hundreds upon hundreds of other things you can do to make a difference. If you're actively involved in hunger relief in ways we haven't mentioned, know of other worthwhile programs, or just have some good ideas that you think can be acted upon, let us know in the comments below.