December 15, 2011

5 Easy Ways to Fight Hunger using Social Media

Author: Maria Shanley

In these tough times, as much as you wish you had the time to volunteer in your community, it may not always be realistic or possible. Days are busy with work, kids, running errands, making dinner and chores.

These days we rely on social media and our smart phones to get things done and socialize with our friends, but did you know that you could use these same devices to help Second Harvest fight hunger?

Awareness is a powerful tool in helping to fight hunger, and with an entire culture of people connected to cyberspace everyday, we have created an easy 5 Ways to Fight Hunger Using Social Media checklist you can use to spread awareness about this epidemic in our community.

Share.  We were taught to do it since elementary and social media is all about sharing!  On our Facebook and Twitter, Second Harvest posts stories of hope, hunger fighting events, and the problems of hunger in our community daily. It’s easy and takes only a few seconds to share these stories and links with friends and family, whether through reposting or retweeting.  The scope of social media expands from Facebook and Twitter, too, so take full advantage of other online avenues, such as Google +, Ning Communities, LinkedIn, group texts, or any one of your favorite social media outlets.

Participate. There are many opportunities in social media to do more than just share posts. On Facebook, for instance you can help us win Ron Jon Surf Shop’s Holiday Charity Contest. The charity with the most votes will receive $2,500 and two Ron Jon surfboards to auction off. Vote for us daily! With Second Harvest able to purchase up to $9 worth of groceries for every $1 donated, you could help feed a lot of hungry families this holiday season!

Educate.  When you have those free moments in your day, read hunger links shared by friends, family, or Second Harvest. You’ll learn the changes in hunger demand from year to year, read stories about the struggles of others and understand how easily it could happen to anybody. Educating yourself on the hunger epidemic in Central Florida is an eye opening experience and can be disheartening, but educating yourself about solutions and sharing them with friends is an action that builds hope and solutions!

Inspire. Leading by example is a great way to influence friends, family, and even strangers around you. Every time you donate to Second Harvest, share it with friends and family! Doing so can inspire them to do the same, and every donation, no matter how big or small, helps our community. You can also inspire people with your own stories of hunger. Write a blog or post about your struggles and how you overcame them, the people who helped you along the way, and other inspiring details.

Create.  Thanks to social media tools, communities such as Ning, Facebook, and Google make it easy to create groups for awareness.  If you feel like any of the above isn’t enough, and you feel a little bit more comfortable with technology, it has become easier to create a group of like-minded persons to build awareness and create solutions. Using online social groups, you can combine Share, Participate, Educate, and Inspire to orchestrate local food drives, charity events, or awareness campaigns to help benefit Second Harvest and the Central Florida community. Create banners or posters depicting hunger and hope, and share them on Facebook, tweet them through Twitter, or post them on the Second Harvest Facebook!

All of the above works easily interchangeably with each other, making it easy to use social media to fight hunger.  Whether it’s tweeting links, sharing on facebook, or gathering friends online to organize a food drive, social media is proving to be a very powerful tool to fight hunger.  At a time where busy schedules can make it difficult to volunteer the hours you’d like into your community, it good to know that you can still make a difference using social media.

Melissa Kear
Second Harvest Food Bank Intern

 



Tags: , , , , , , , ,



Leave a Reply

-->