What You Can Do
GET INVOLVED For $25, Feeding America will help provide meals to feed a family of four for two weeks. You can also register with its Hunger Action Center to become a hunger-relief advocate (feedingamerica.org). Share Our Strength is a national nonprofit that works with community organizations and creates partnerships that provide food to children at risk of hunger. A $25 donation will help feed a child three meals a day for more than a month (strength.org). Wholesome Wave works to improve access to healthy foods in neighborhoods without adequate grocery stores. It needs donations and volunteers to facilitate programs (wholesomewave.org).
SUPPORT SUMMER PROGRAMS "Ask your school or recreation center if it's participating in the federally funded summer feeding programs," suggests Dr. Mariana Chilton. "Many communities don't take advantage. You can help organize volunteers to host distributions at parks and playgrounds."
WRITE LETTERS "Tell your senators and representatives that you want to see an end to childhood hunger," says Dr. Chilton. You can also push your congresspeople to support an expansion of food-stamp benefits in the Farm Bill, which will be rewritten in 2012.
DONATE THOUGHTFULLY Advocates recommend asking food pantries and soup kitchens what is needed before cleaning out your kitchen cupboards. "Think of what you would want your kids to eat," says Dr. Deborah Frank. Canned produce, infant foods, diapers, and supermarket gift cards often top the list of needs.