What is your fondest memory of Thanksgiving as a child? Is it the smell of Thanksgiving dinner on the table as you walk into your grandparent's home, shaking the leaves from your shoes? That tasty aroma is a clear sign that dinner is ready to be served; your Aunt's potatoes, your Grandma's stuffing, your mother's apple pie, and your grandpa is getting ready to carve the turkey. What a great memory, and they say that our fondest memories are always tied back to smells we experience in our childhood. So if pondering Thanksgiving dinner really took you back, how about thinking back to your favorite Christmas dinner memories. Did your family serve ham or turkey or maybe steak? Better yet, how about dessert. What pie was your favorite? Was it banana cream pie, apple pie, peach cobbler, rhubarb, or made a slice of Oreo pie with whipped cream on top?
Isn't it fun and enjoyable to think back on all the great holiday meals you enjoyed as a child and even as an adult? We think so, our mouths are watering just thinking about Grandma's stuffing! As enjoyable and memory filled all of our holiday meals have been, during this time of year, we also need to think about those that are less fortunate than us. After all, that's what this time of year is all about; 'tis better to give than to receive. Did you know that in Northeast Ohio, Cleveland specifically, one in every six people are food insecure? This means that they aren't sure exactly where their next meal will be coming from!
Why is this Important?
Here are the top ten hunger statistics in America according to dosomething.org. We highly recommend you do some research if you don't believe us, or better yet just drive through your local neighborhood and stop by the nearest food pantry or homeless shelter to see for yourself firsthand. We know it's not fun to think about, but it is happening and you can help.
- 1 in 6 people in America face hunger.
- The USDA defines "food insecurity" as the lack of access, at times, to enough food for all household members. In 2011, households with children reported a significantly higher food insecurity rate than households without children: 20.6% vs. 12.2%.
- Food insecurity exists in every county in America. In 2013, 17.5 million households were food insecure. More and more people are relying on food banks and pantries.
- 49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table.
- In the US, hunger isn’t caused by a lack of food, but rather the continued prevalence of poverty.
- More than 1 in 5 children is at risk of hunger. Among African-Americans and Latinos, it’s 1 in 3.
- Over 20 million children receive free or reduced-price lunch each school day. Less than half of them get breakfast, and only 10% have access to summer meal sites.
- For every 100 school lunch programs, there are only 87 breakfast sites and just 36 summer food programs.
- 1 in 7 people are enrolled in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Nearly half of them are children.
- 40% of food is thrown out in the US every year, or about $165 billion worth. All of this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans.
How can you help?
We are once again opening up our Elyria based agency doors this year as a drop off point for any non-perishable food items. We have partnered with local food banks in the Cleveland area which is where all of the food we collect will be going so that they can distribute it properly. If you have any non perishable food items that you would like to donate, you can stop by and see us at 41436 Griswold Rd Elyria, OH 44035.
All the food items we collect will be picked up by December 10th. If you have any questions specifically around the food drive, you can reach out to Erin Jagels at 440.752. 3461 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. In 2016, nearly 700 pounds of food was collected which was able to help provide over 800 holiday meals. This year in 2017, the goal is to collect 1,500 pounds of food. With your help and the help of the rest of the Cleveland area communities, pooling our resources together, we will be able to ensure that more families create warm memories gathered around a dinner table this holiday season.
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