As the holiday season approaches, most of us prepare to be overwhelmed with festive parties and family dinners. For millions of people, though, the holidays just mean more hunger. In 2015, it was estimated that more than 42 million Americans lived in food-insecure households. The very real and preventable existence of hunger in America — and worldwide — is something that should be on the forefront of everyone’s minds, not just during the holidays, of course, but somehow especially now.
At The Daily Meal, our motto is “All things food and drink.” It’s important that we use our platform to shine a light on all food topics, not just the pleasures of good eating and the overabundance so many of us enjoy but also the scarcity of food in so many people’s lives.
Knowledge is power, but to be aware is not enough. We need to challenge ourselves to not look the other direction, but rather to take action to address food insecurity issues. There are so many small things that can be done that will add up to make a huge difference.
We have reached out to family and friends and scoured the internet to compile a list of 51 things we can do to help fight hunger. They range from the seemingly insignificant (add an extra $1 to your restaurant check) to the quirky (create art with canned food) to the potentially life-changing (dine in someone else’s shoes at a hunger banquet). There are easy ways to help, like simply using your computer or purchasing things you would normally like cereal or holiday gifts. There are also more ambitious projects to become involved in, like leading a grocery store tour or creating a community vegetable garden.
This list is meant to be a jumping-off point to get your ideas flowing. We’d love to hear your feedback and learn about the organizations you’re involved with, or let us know if there are unique opportunities in your town.
At the end of the day, we are all connected. Let the approaching holiday season be a turning point — a reminder that hunger is a year-round issue. When it comes to making a difference, every little bit helps.