by Linda St Cyr, Contributing Writer
"MORE THAN 50 MILLION AMERICANS STRUGGLE TO PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE."- Share Our Strength, Hunger Fact-Sheet
Santa is on his way but for many families getting food on their tables is as elusive as seeing Santa climbing down the chimney. Over 44 million homes are considered food insecure. These families rely on school lunches to provide their children with a meal, trips to the local food bank to get a meal on the table, and stretching every dollar for what it's worth. During school breaks the amount of children who go hungry increases because there is no food in the home.
Hunger hurts. Not just emotionally but physically and mentally. According to Share Our Strength, children who go hungry are more likely to become sick (headaches, stomachaches, ear infections), become hospitalized, risk obesity, face behavioral problems, lack focus in school, and struggle with learning.
The number of hungry during the holiday season is only increasing. Island Harvest (a food relief organization in Long Island) spokesman Donald Miller told CNN's Eatocracy about the increase, "Prior to the start of the holiday season – the benchmark would be the number of turkeys requested for Thanksgiving and Christmas and this year, it came in at an astounding 42,000, whereas last year the requests were for about 25,000. We've taken in around 12,000 so far, so we're really behind the eight ball."
17.4 million households in America are food insecure. 4.2 million of those households include children. America is considered one of the fattest nations yet we have millions who cannot afford to put food on the table. It is shocking and sad. There are ways you can help fight against hunger. Visit places like Island Harvest, Share Our Strength, and Feeding America to make a donation. Find a local food bank and donate non-perishables, ask if they are hosting a turkey drive then donate one.
If you are in need of help putting food on your table this holiday season: Please use THIS TOOL to find a local food bank.