In 2009 Pigtown Design and Easy and Elegant Life teamed up to raise awareness of the challenges faced by food banks across the nation in these challenging economic times. They called their mission April Food Day. 365 days later, the need is still great. People are still unemployed, underemployed, and financially overwhelmed. Food banks are a lifeline for a growing percentage of the population.
It’s been a year since I wrote my post for AFD2009. In that time, The Mistah and I became intimately acquainted with the recession and unemployment. We looked for ways to save money. And honestly, one of the first things to get cut was the food budget. It was a challenge. It was psychologically bruising to go from grocery shopping at Harris Teeter, Safeway, and (sometimes) Wegman’s to food shopping at Target and Walmart. But when your income is cut by 60%, you do what you have to do.
It’s about survival. And for some people, grocery shopping at Walmart, or Target, or at the local off brand grocery store is a luxury. While I know that eating can be luxurious, it should never be considered a luxury. Here are a few things to chew on:
- Feeding America is annually providing food to 37 million Americans, including 14 million children.
- That means one in eight Americans now rely on Feeding America for food and groceries.
- Feeding America ‘s nationwide network of food banks is feeding 1 million more Americans each week than they did in 2006.
- Thirty-six percent of the households served have at least one person working.
- More than one-third of client households report having to choose between food and other basic necessities, such as rent, utilities and medical care.
- Feeding America food banks provide food and groceries to 33,500 food pantries, 4,500 soup kitchens and 3,600 emergency shelters.
If you are able to, I hope you will consider making a donation to Feeding America through the link that has been set up for April Food Day. Even if you can’t make a donation, I hope you will participate in AFD by spreading the word.