From ALLtech medical provider Regence BlueShield
Nearly 1 in 8 Americans, or almost 42 million people, are expected to experience food insecurity this year and may not know where their next meal will come from. This includes nearly 13 million children across the United States.
In early 2020 the overall food insecurity rate had reached its lowest point in three decades, however many families relied on food assistance at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic due to loss of jobs and income. Food insecurity remains a critical issue for many, both during the pandemic and beyond.
The good news is that we can work together to address hunger and ensure food is available to all who need it. September is Hunger Action Month, a recognition created by the nonprofit Feeding America that offers an opportunity to fuel conversations and take actionable steps toward reducing hunger in our communities. Below are three ways to get involved:
Learn about the state of hunger in your community
Chances are a neighbor, colleague or friend may have, at some point, been faced with a difficult decision of keeping up with bills or putting nutritious food on the table. Each person and community’s situation is unique, so it’s important to understand the many factors that contribute to hunger.
Feeding America offers its “Map the Meal Gap” interactive resource as an inside look at the state of food insecurity across the globe, as well as the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on people and families.
Support your local food bank
Local food banks are a critical resource for individuals and families in need of food assistance. Last year, Regence matched 100% of employee donations made to local food banks and collectively raised more than $218K to help these organizations meet growing demand.
In addition to monetary donations, food banks, food pantries and other meal programs often seek physical donations like canned goods, and some offer ongoing volunteer opportunities. Use Feeding America’s locator tool to find a food bank near you and get involved.
Use your voice to end hunger
Ending hunger requires action from us all. In support of Hunger Action Month, Feeding America has put together a pledge to end hunger and encourage lawmakers to make ending hunger a priority. Learn more about the pledge and other steps you can take to address rising rates of food insecurity.
Regence is proud to recognize Hunger Action Month and support nonprofit organizations who are taking a stand against hunger. Visit the Regence blog to learn how the organization is supporting the health of our communities.