Source: Orlando Sentinel
Many people today are overwhelmed and frustrated with what seem to be unfixable problems, or things out of their control. Just look around at the Gulf oil spill and its long-term effects, a Gainesville pastor’s stance on the Quran, congressional issues and so many more examples, including in our own personal lives. Wouldn’t it be great if we could find something we could wrap our own hands around and make a difference?
There is a pressing problem that we all can rally around and do something about: hunger in our community. The ongoing economic situation, unemployment, under-employment and plummeting retirement accounts and property values have all created a perfect storm for emergency food assistance among a large portion of the population.
Last year, Second Harvest Food Bank’s Hunger Study showed that about 25 percent of Central Florida’s population received food assistance. That’s 732,000 people, and nearly 300,000 are children. That’s a problem. What can you do about it?
September is Hunger Action Month, an effort to fight hunger. The only way we can close the gap is with continued community assistance. You can seek out a number of local organizations that could use your support in terms of volunteering, financial assistance or food donations
All are designed to provide support for people in need and offer a variety of levels of engagement. If you can’t take action in September, the problem will still be here in October.
Everyone can help. Here’s one poignant example: One day an elementary-school girl named Alli saw some of her classmates Dumpster diving. That night, she cried to her mom that they must do something about the situation. Alli came up with a plan and in a few months raised $5,000 to help start a new Second Harvest Kids Café downtown.
To this day, that café continues to provide thousands of meals to children. Alli’s a reminder to all of us — young and old, wealthy or not — that each of us can find a way to take meaningful action in the fight against hunger. It’s a problem that can be solved.
We can make a tangible impact upon hunger relief because every can of soup, box of cereal, volunteer hour or dollar donated translates into one of the most basic needs of every person — food. Please consider taking action; it’s good for the community, and it’s good for the soul.
Dave Krepcho is president and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.