As November arrives, we celebrate the fall harvest and the year’s blessings. Anticipation fills the air as we prepare to gather with loved ones, devour Thanksgiving feasts, and enjoy football on the couch. November is a season of togetherness and festivity, yet it also prompts us to reflect on those less fortunate.
Did you know, 10.7% of Atlantans face the daily struggle of not having enough to eat? In Georgia, 1 in 9 adults and 1 in 8 children face hunger and food insecurity. Food insecurity is not having access to enough food to maintain a healthy and active life.
Many of us experience feeling hungry after skipping a meal or two. We may feel cranky, tired, and irritable, and it can be hard to focus and finish our work. Fortunately, we can satisfy our hunger with a quick trip to the kitchen or grocery store. For others, it is hard to predict when or where they will get their next meal. This can cause them not to feel their best and can result in significant health issues.
How does hunger impact children?
Hunger can make it difficult for children to perform well in the classroom. It can also affect their behavior. Hungry students are more likely to:
- have less energy
- repeat a grade
- have lower math scores
- be late to school or miss school entirely
- be more easily distracted and less interested in schoolwork
- suffer from chronic health conditions like asthma, anemia, and obesity
According to No Kid Hungry, as many as 9 million children in the United States live in “food insecure” homes.
How can Pebble Tossers help end childhood hunger?
Youth and families can help end childhood hunger by volunteering with our partner, The Sandwich Project.
The Sandwich Project’s mission is to combat food insecurity in our community, foster a sense of togetherness, and ensure that no one goes without the necessity of nourishing food. Volunteers work together to create and deliver fresh homemade sandwiches to large and small nonprofit organizations.
How to Volunteer with The Sandwich Project
Volunteering is easy, and you can participate from the comfort of your home and at a time that works best for you.
Step 1: Register via our volunteer + nonprofit platform and choose a week you and your family or group want to make and deliver your sandwiches.
Step 2: Download our sandwich guide How-To Action Sheet
Step 3: Purchase the materials listed on the sandwich guide
Step 4: Make your sandwiches the night before your scheduled delivery date
Step 5: Engage in the conversation starter prompts and reflection questions on the action sheet during and after making the sandwiches
Step 6: Deliver your sandwiches
Step 7: Repeat steps 1-6
How does hunger impact adults?
People living in urban areas, rural areas, and low-income neighborhoods may not have grocery stores close to them. This means their diets may lack a healthy variety of fresh foods and nutritious meals. Eating foods lacking in nutrition can lead to diseases such as:
- heart disease
People experiencing hunger may have to choose between paying a bill, buying medication, and purchasing groceries.
How can Pebble Tossers help improve food insecurity?
You can help improve food insecurity by volunteering with our partner, Open Hand.
Open Hand is one of the largest community-based providers of medically tailored meals in the U.S. They not only cover food insecurity which focuses on quantity, but they focus on nutrition insecurity, which emphasizes quality. Their meals are prepared, cooked, and delivered to improve health outcomes.
All their services are free to their clients, as more than 90% are from historically marginalized backgrounds. Without the help of wonderful volunteers like you, they would not be able to support the amount of people they serve.
Open Hand’s impact is so significant that one-third of their clients report that, if not for Open Hand, they would have no idea where their next meal would be coming from.
How to volunteer with Open Hand
You can volunteer with Open hand by registering via our volunteer + nonprofit platform. Simply select a shift that works best for you. Open Hand is always in need of volunteer drivers to deliver meals and volunteer support with packing meals in the Open Hand kitchen.
Pebble Tossers Impact
Hunger is more than just an empty stomach, it can also affect education and health. By volunteering with The Sandwich Project and Open Hand, we can ensure that everyone has access to healthy meals. This November, let us not only celebrate our blessings but also share them with those who need them most, making this season truly one of gratitude and compassion.
Written by Lauren Green, MSN, MBA, RN
Freelance Health Writer, Emerald Health Content