Nearly one in eight households doesn’t have enough to eat, leaving millions of Americans food insecure during a global health crisis. In Kansas City, the projection of hunger for the rest of 2020 is even higher than the national average with one in six Kansas Citians experiencing food insecurity. Harvesters—The Community Food Network, a Kansas City-based food bank and Blue KC Well Stocked partner, has taken incredible action this September to feed more families in need.
Valerie Nicholson-Watson, President and CEO of Harvesters, has reflected on the impact this crisis has had on the community. She notes “it will not be over soon, which means Harvesters will need to remain on the front line, full speed ahead in the coming months.” The organization is committed to being a resource for families, children and seniors who are wondering where their next meal will come from.
September is Hunger Action Month, during which the entire country is invited to stand with the Feeding America network to fight hunger. As we wrap up the month, we want to share a few ways our Well Stocked partner, Harvesters, cultivated the community to get involved and put a call to action to continue efforts year-round to address food insecurity in our area.
On September 10, known as Hunger Action Day, Harvesters hosted a Hunger Action Month Virtual Town Hall, where Nicholson-Watson and Kimberly Svaty, Harvesters’ new Board President, shared an update on the organization’s response to the pandemic and additional information about hunger relief. Harvesters also partnered with KSHB-TV and Price Chopper for its annual “Fill the Fridge” food drive, which provided 121,487 meals for people in need in the Kansas City area. Year round, Harvesters provides food and related household products to more than 760 nonprofit agencies including emergency food pantries, community kitchens, homeless shelters, children’s homes and more. They also offer education programs to increase community awareness of hunger and teach about good nutrition. Here are a couple of ways you can help beyond Hunger Action Month:
- Hunger Advocate Alerts: One of the best ways you can help take action this Hunger Action Month is by advocating for hunger relief programs. Sign up for Hunger Advocate Alert emails to get information on using your voice to affect change.
- Volunteer in Kansas City: COVID-19 has drastically increased the number of those at risk of hunger in our region, and Harvesters need volunteers to help distribute food to those in need. Help fill a volunteer shift to keep up with the increased demand.
While fighting hunger in our community has been top of mind over the past month, we urge Kansas Citians to continue to stay involved in the cause. Especially during these trying times, every little bit of time, funds or food donation can help make a difference. Harvesters is just one of four Blue KC’s Well Stocked partners who aim to improve access to nutritious food in our community. To learn more about Blue KC’s efforts to fight food insecurity in the Kansas City area, visit BlueKC.com/WellStocked.