Clean Dishes, Full Plates – Helping to End Hunger for Giving Tuesday
Currently, 1 in 6 families face hunger in America, and about 16.5% of households in North Carolina are food insecure at some point during the year (higher than the national average of 13.4%). Considering we make dish soap for a living, it is safe to say we love a clean plate— but we believe they should always be full of food before the sink is full of dishes.
This year for #GivingTuesday, we wanted to do our part to help end hunger. Making it our mission to help fill a plate for the holidays, we made an in-kind donation to Feeding America, which provides support to food banks across the country, and held a food drive at our Raleigh, North Carolina office to collect much needed items for our local food bank. Together, Feeding America and food banks have helped served 4.2 billion meals to over 46 million people nationwide!
During our lunch hour, we headed out to drop off the cleaning supplies and food donations we raised and visit with Jenna Temple, the Manager of Corporate Partnerships at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina. When we first pulled into the food bank, we spotted two volunteers who had taken a break from loading food boxes to set off on a sprint-race against each other in the parking lot—laughing and faces full of smiles. It is moments like these when you can catch a glimpse of the kind and generous spirits that dedicate their time to causes like this.
Photo: Inside the recently expanded donation warehouse at the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina
Instantly inspired by the positivity and fun, we meandered inside the huge warehouse with our donations in tow. The big room was filled with the smell of food and loads of neatly organized boxes full of non-perishables, fresh produce, and even a box for non-food items. Jenna peeped out to introduced herself and weigh our boxes, which to our surprise tipped the scale at 111 pounds! Next, Jenna took some time to show us around and offer us a closer look at what our local food bank does for our community.
Photo: Our food drive raised over 111 pounds of canned food and cleaning supplies!
On a local level, the food bank is able to take donations and multiply their impact. For example, a $1,000 monetary donation provides the local community with roughly 5,000 meals! But direct food donations help them create the biggest impact. 95% of the food the food bank provides is donated, with nearly 40% being fresh produce, mostly thanks to North Carolina’s large community of farmers. Last year, the Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina distributed over 70 million pounds of food to help fight hunger across the region.
But the number of people in need hasn’t yet recovered from the recession. Each year, Feeding America conducts a meal gap study to help food banks, pantries and other food assistance agencies across the nation assess the needs in their local communities. According to Jenna, if donations stopped at our local food bank today, they would run out of food in as little as two weeks.
Photo: From left to right – our staff member Maddy & the amazing Jenna Temple of FBCENC
During the holidays, the spirit of giving runs in the air. But as Giving Tuesday has come to a close, let us all not forget that charities of all kinds still rely on your help throughout the new year to come. The Food Bank in particular experiences increased needs in the summer months as needy kids are out of school and don’t have access to school meal programs. Nearly 300,000 children in the 34 counties they serve rely on the free and reduced-cost meals at school. Last summer, they fed more than 6,500 children through the Kids Summer Meals Program.
Help us end hunger when shopping on amazon.com by first visiting Amazon Smile and selecting Feeding America as your charity of choice before checking out. Amazon Smile makes it easy to give back a little with every purchase you make. Or help your local food bank by making a charitable contribution, hosting a canned food drive, or volunteering.
Spread the word to #endhunger in America by sharing this post with a friend!