“Hunger doesn’t take a holiday.” It’s a phrase school nutrition professionals hear—and use—often. As the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays approach, our thoughts turn to those children who rely on school meals for their nutrition. Millions of American children—one in five—struggles with food insecurity, and that need does not go away when school isn’t in session.
Each year, Beyond Breakfast publishes our annual round-up of hunger resources, so that our readers can help—or seek help—to combat hunger during the holiday season. In our very first Thanksgiving post we wrote the following, which we share each year:
Food nourishes our bodies, but sharing a meal nourishes our hearts and souls. We know that for many children, school meals may be the most nutritious—or only—meal they eat during the day. That means holidays, weekends, and breaks can be times of hunger, rather than times of feasting and celebration.
Whether you are looking for an opportunity to reach out and do more this holiday season, or you need an extra hand yourself, we have compiled our annual list of resources to help you locate food banks and pantries, and to connect with the available resources in your area. Does your school offer a backpack or holiday feeding program? They can be great tools for combating students’ food insecurity during extended school breaks.
Do you have a favorite local food bank, pantry, backpack program, or other anti-hunger effort? Leave us their name, and a link to their website, in our comments section and so that we can connect with them on Facebook and Twitter.
Feeding America Food Bank Locator
Distributing more than 3 billion meals each year throughout the United States, the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks is a leader in the anti-hunger movement. The Feeding America Food Bank Locator allows you to search for a feeding program in your community by zip code.
Pantrynet.org is an online food pantry locator that allows you to search both by zip code, and search using radius in miles; you can also add your local food pantry to the Pantrynet.org database.
Share Our Strength: Hunger Resources
Use the Share Our Strength Hunger Resources page to find up-to-date hunger statistics for your area, as well as additional resources on school breakfast, SNAP, and more.
End Hunger Network
Founded by actor and Share Our Strength spokesman Jeff Bridges, the End Hunger Network works with the entertainment industry and other partners to create and support media projects, programs, and events to raise awareness and action to end childhood hunger in the United States.
Why Hunger seeks to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food, and by supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment. Click to learn more about Why Hunger and their programs.
Hunger Free Communities Network
Hunger Free Community (HFC) initiatives range in scale and leadership, but they are formed around the belief that a broad range of community stakeholders must unite in order to end hunger at the community level.