Many of us have access to so much food that we end up wasting a lot of it each year. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, American food waste is estimated at between 30 and 40 percent of the food supply, corresponding to over $160 billion worth of food in 2010.
However, even with all this seeming surplus, many people still go hungry every day. Many of them are children. If you’d like to see this changed, you can donate to charities in the U.S. that focus on helping to feed the hungry.
No Kid Hungry
With so many schools closed during the COVID-19 crisis over the past 12-plus months, even more children than usual have gone hungry without their usual access to on-site school meals. Thankfully, No Kid Hungry is working to continue to provide meals to feed hungry youths and reduce food insecurity.
The organization’s goal is for no child in America to grow up hungry, and leaders behind No Kid Hungry know that it takes creativity to achieve this. They’re providing meals via programs like school breakfasts, summer meals, and after-school feeds. Plus, they offer food skills education and government advocacy and get involved in research and policy.
Meals on Wheels
Meals on Wheels is a long-established organization you’ve no doubt heard of. This food-based non-profit focuses on ensuring seniors don’t go hungry, especially those who may deal with a lack of access or finances. Meals on Wheels delivers food to people at home or sometimes to senior center residents. Plus, volunteers (close to one million of them across all 50 states and territories) who deliver meals can also help to provide holistic care and identify safety issues. Meals on Wheels has been in particular demand during the pandemic when the elderly population has been vulnerable, ill, and stuck at home more than usual.
Feeding America is the biggest hunger-relief organization domestically. This non-profit has a nationwide network of over 200 food banks. They connect the hungry with food via food pantries, shelters, soup kitchens, and other avenues and help feed more than 40 million people, including children and seniors. The charity sources nourishing food from various sources, including manufacturers, retailers, and farmers, and gives it to those in need.
Food Bank for New York City
If you live in or visit New York City regularly, you may wish to donate to the Food Bank for New York City. Founded back in 1983, it provides access to affordable, nourishing meals to low-income New Yorkers. As you can imagine, this is a big job, with five boroughs to service and millions of potential hungry. The Food Bank’s initiatives include supplying meals at food pantries, soup kitchens, mobile and pop-up distribution centers, senior centers, and more.
The Okra Project
A more specific organization helping those in need is The Okra Project. It’s a collective designed to address the global crisis faced by Black Trans people. The organization brings home-cooked, healthy, and culturally-specific meals cooked by Black Trans chefs to those who need them, wherever they can be reached. Before the pandemic began, groceries were taken into people’s homes and cooked on-site. Today, The Okra Project is working around COVID-19 safety conditions by delivering meals to the community in a way that recognizes CDC compliance guidelines.
Food Recovery Network
The Food Recovery Network is a national youth-focused non-profit. It empowers college and university students to make a difference by fighting food waste and hunger via recovering perishable food on campuses that would otherwise go to landfills. Volunteers allocate and donate foods wasted at dining halls across the country. When campuses closed due to the coronavirus, the movement transitioned services and began recovering food from other places within the food chain system, such as farm fields.
Slice Out Hunger
If you’re a pizza lover, a charity that might align well with your interests is Slice Out Hunger. The volunteer-driven non-profit has been funding hunger relief efforts across America since 2009 by producing pizza-related events and campaigns. The organization uses food donated by independent pizzerias to raise money for local charities aiding the hungry.
The Slice Out Hunger’s $1 Pizza Party is the inaugural event that continues today and has become an annual event. More recently, the organization launched a Pizza v. Pandemic initiative, delivering cheese-based meals to frontline healthcare workers and first responders.
As you can see, you don’t have to look far to find noble charities to support in the U.S. to help combat hunger. If you want to donate to those working further afield, there are many options, too. Do some research to work out the charity that aligns most closely with your values or location.