Food poverty is in sharper focus than ever. In the wake of the pandemic, many families struggle to put food on the table. Job losses, school closures, and wage uncertainty all contribute to food poverty and can put some people in dire straits. Long-term fixes are difficult, but there are a few things you can do to help your community today.
#1 Donate to a food bank
Food banks are nowadays a common sight. You’ll find them in shops, community centers – sometimes even in banks. The idea behind a food bank is simple. You donate food that individuals in need can take without paying any money. Most food banks consist of non-perishable goods like tinned produce or pasta. These banks can be a real lifesaver for people in the grip of food poverty, but since they operate on a purely voluntary basis, it can be difficult to keep them stocked up.
That’s why making a donation is so important. Food banks can quickly empty during difficult periods. A good way to ensure that you’re providing aid where it’s most needed is to ask the owner of the food bank exactly what they need on any given day. Most people donate the same kinds of foods, but the owner might tell you that they’re in need of milk or even something as simple as cereal.
#2 Work for a food distribution company
Food distribution companies like https://www.murphysproduce.org/ specialize in delivering food to the people and communities that need it the most. Crucially, they’ll deliver healthy food as part of a balanced diet. Working for one of these distribution companies can be enormously rewarding. Volunteering skyrocketed during the pandemic as people sought out a way to help the community. Delivering food to those in need is one of the most effective ways.
All distribution companies differ in scope and aim. Some will deliver purely to the elderly or individual homes. Others will focus on getting school meals out to children. Some will turn their attention to the homeless or run soup kitchens. They all have one thing in common, though: they’re a lifeline to those in need.
#3 Consider social enterprise
More of a long-term solution, social enterprise takes many forms. Distributing wasted supermarket food is one of the more common business models, and it can make a big difference. Supermarkets often throw out unsold food at the end of the day, even if it’s well within its sell-by date and perfectly safe to eat. Community enterprises are increasingly mobilizing to put that food to good use and deliver it to those who need it.
A quick Google search for food initiatives in your area will turn up plenty of results. These might range from opportunities to volunteer at a food bank, help out at a soup kitchen, or even provide mobile “meals on wheels” to hard-to-reach parts of the community. Whatever you choose, the work is immensely rewarding, and you’ll be making a big difference.