The risk of hunger is high during the summer for thousands of children across West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula. Without adequate food, children can have a difficult time learning, playing and socializing with those around them. Because of these potential consequences, we believe it is crucial to take action to end summer hunger.
Join us as we work together to end hunger this summer! Here are 5 simple ways you can get involved:
Advocate for summer meal programs
Thousands of children in West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula rely on school meal programs. When summer break comes around, these children are left wondering where their next meals are going to come from. Gather 2 Grow is Feeding America West Michigan’s summer meal program which aims to fill the summer meal gap for children. We partner with local libraries to provide lunch meal kits for children at no cost.
In addition to promoting Gather 2 Grow, you can reach out to your local lawmakers to share that you think it is important for them to support meal programs for children and for them to help end child hunger! For example, Meet Up and Eat Up is the Michigan Department of Education’s Summer Food Service Program created for children in low-income areas to receive nutritious meals during long school vacations.
Community support for programs like these are essential to their success!
Spread the word
Social media is the perfect outlet for you to share with your friends and family that you’re taking action to end hunger this summer! There are numerous places to share informational resources, such as Instagram, Facebook and TikTok, so that those around you are educated on the importance of our mission. You can encourage them to join you or invite them to learn more about the impacts of hunger in your community.
Plant a family garden
This is a fun, family friendly activity you can take part in that also gives you the opportunity to donate some of your harvest to a local food pantry! This way, some of your neighbors in need of food can also enjoy some of your favorite summer foods. Check out these tips for planting a garden at your home to get started.
Spend a couple hours of your time giving back to your community by volunteering at a hunger-relief organization near you. The food bank has numerous volunteer opportunities available, as do local food pantries and meal programs, which you can locate on our resource map. Giving back is a rewarding way to spend your time, especially when you invite some friends to join you!
Whether it be food or funds, Feeding America West Michigan is able to make the most out of your donations. While you’re out grocery shopping, you can pick up an extra bag of food of items the food bank needs the most and make a trip to donate them! Or, every $1 donated to the food bank provides 15 meals’ worth of food to neighbors experiencing hunger. Thousands of children are in need of food support this summer—donate today to help make a difference!
Written by Content Specialist Kelly Reitsma