01 November 2011

Better Late Than Never

Did you know Blog Action Day 2011 came and went?

Where was I?

Oh right - topping off my organization's annual meeting with a visit with my in-laws.

Anyway, I know I'm about two weeks late, but this year's topic, food, is very important to me, so I'm going to write a brief post anyway.

If you know me at all, you know that I LOVE food. I love to read about food, I love to write about food, I love eating out, eating in, cooking for people I care about or enjoying them cooking for me. Food's great!

You know what I don't love?
  • 1 in 8 households in Washington, DC, our nation's capital, struggles with hunger.
  • 13% of all households in DC dealt with "food insecurity" in 2010.
  • In 2009-2010, 37.4% of households with children in DC reported that they were unable to afford enough food.
  • Wards 7 and 8, which have the District's highest poverty rates, also have the city's highest obesity rates and are home to large "food deserts."
  • Of the city's 43 full-service grocery stores, only two are located in Ward 4, four in Ward 7, and three in Ward 8. By contrast, Ward 3 - the highest-income Ward - has eleven full-service stores.
  • Only one of the city's 30 farmers' markets is located east of the Anacostia River.
All facts from DC Hunger Solutions.

That's a lot of our neighbors who aren't sure they can afford to feed themselves and their kids or who, even if they can afford the food, can't find good, healthy food to buy.

And that stinks.

So what can you do about it?

As always, educating yourself is a great place to start. Go to Google and type in "hunger in [your location]." You might be surprised what you find.

The next step? Feeding America can help you find the hunger relief charities in your area that can be supported with donations of food, your money, your time, or all of the above.

Are you in DC? Some great places to donate goods, time, or money include:
  • Capital Area Food Bank - maybe you could run a holiday food drive at your office?
  • DC Central Kitchen - FYI, founder Robert Egger is a complete bad-ass.
  • Miriam's Kitchen - hey - they have a walkathon coming up in 2 1/2 weeks where, if they can recruit 1500 walkers, they'll earn a $25,000 grant. And they don't even expect you to start until 9 am.
  • So Others Might Eat - they are always looking for volunteer servers, particularly around the holidays, which can be a really cool thing to do with your family or a group of friends.
What are you waiting for? Don't just sit there - go do something!

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