Don't Think, Just Act!

There aren’t many times in our lives when we can avoid the common sense rule, “Think before you act.”  This just happens to be one of those rare occasions where that rule doesn’t apply.  Many well intentioned people often think about getting involved in community service projects, helping out their elderly neighbors with lawn care, or volunteering at their local soup kitchens, but more often than not, those thoughts don’t turn into actions. This September, also known as Spoontember‬ is Hunger Action Month™.  All month long, Feeding America and its network of 200 food banks and over 60 food pantries and programs ask everyone in America to take action toward raising awareness about hunger in their communities. Hunger Action Month gives us all the opportunity to join the fight against hunger in our country.  Whether it’s by advocating and speaking out, making donations, or volunteering, everyone can find a way that’s right for him or her to make a real and lasting difference in 49 million lives.

It’s as easy as posting a seemingly silly “Spoon Selfie” on your Facebook page to help raise awareness of this very serious problem in our country.  You never know when your post just might catch someone’s eye and lead them to getting involved in hunger relief in their community.  You can also be part of the solution by letting your elected officials know that it will take all of us to solve hunger in America.  Contact Congress and advocate for the continuation of vital child nutrition programs within our schools.  You don’t have to be a writer to let our government know what you believe is important to the health of our country.

One of the best ways to get involved this September is by volunteering.  It’s free for everyone involved.  The nonprofits who serve the hungry in your community receive additional help that they could not otherwise afford, and it doesn’t cost you, the volunteer, monetarily in any way.  If your family doesn’t have the extra income or food to donate, then spending a couple of hours helping out at your local food bank or serving at a soup kitchen is a great contribution to your community.  Volunteering does take some time that is likely already accounted for, but I can assure you that it will be time well spent.  

If you don’t have the extra time to volunteer, spread awareness, or advocate against food insecurity in America, then maybe you’re blessed with enough means to provide for your family and feel compelled contribute financially.  It’s not always easy to give our hard earned money to help a stranger, even if it’s for a wonderful cause.  Just know that your donations are beyond important to the success of nonprofit organizations.  Without them, our efforts would be greatly diminished.  I happen to believe that there are millions of Americans willing to donate so that a hungry child, a retired grandmother, or a hard-working father may have enough food for the day.   

I’ll be honest.  I’m as guilty of this as the next person of having the best of intentions that never come to fruition.  Almost every person I know is pressed for time.  Today, Per Diems Against Poverty is calling all of our supporters and champions in the fight against hunger in America to ACT--Action Changes Things!  Everyone has a role to play!  Become an advocate against hunger and email or mail a letter to your senators, volunteer at a local food pantry, or even organize a food drive through your workplace, church, or civic organization. We cannot do it alone, but together, we can end hunger in America.  There is always an excuse as to why we cannot get involved, but the excuses definitely don’t outnumber the reasons why we can.

Per Diems Against Poverty is accepting nonperishable food item donations to benefit the River Valley Regional Food Bank, our local Feeding America food bank during the whole month of September.  If you live in the Fort Smith, AR area and would like to organize a pickup or drop-off of donations for families in our community, please email jennifer@perdiemsagainstpoverty.org..