Growing up in upper middle class suburban America, I never wanted for anything. No, my parents did not give into my every whim, but I never once went hungry.
And I never dreamed that, in my adulthood, I would be in the position of needing help.
But before the Great Recession hit in 2008, very few of us could imagine how many of us would be in need.
A full belly is a luxury for 16 million children struggling with hunger in the United States. Yes, in America. One in 5 children do not know where their next meal will come from–and those hungry may even be your neighbors.
In times of plenty, it’s easy to turn a deaf ear and pretend that there are not others around us struggling with hunger. After all, isn’t the United States the wealthiest nation in the world? Surely hunger is a third-world problem. Not here. Not now. Right?
In the not-too-distant past, my family struggled on a low income, and we did not have money to buy food at the end of the month. We succumbed to using WIC checks to supplement our meager food budget. I was challenged to make meals stretch.
We have a food pantry in our town, but I’m humbled to admit that I was too embarrassed, too prideful to go.
My friend Beth at Red and Honey once fed her family via a soup kitchen in her Canadian town. It was either that–or watch her children go hungry.
Today I would like to introduce you to a very short documentary that follows two families who are feeding their children via the generous food donations from others.
Both families were severely affected during the Great Recession, and they are still in the process of rebuilding in its aftermath.
Going to Bed Hungry: The Changing Face of Child Hunger is just over 4 minutes long. I encourage you to take a few minutes to watch it here.
If you only have a few seconds, the documentary’s trailer is still worth a watch. You can view it here.
Project Sunlight, who produced this film, is encouraging all Americans to #ShareaMeal to combat childhood hunger. It can be as simple as donating to your local food pantry or hosting a backyard cookout. You can even host a virtual food drive.
I love how easy this tool is to use to locate local food banks!
The goal is simply to reduce childhood hunger and provide a meal for those in need.
I never thought I would be the recipient of charity, but I will forever be grateful to the sweet co-worker of my husband’s who gave us bags of gluten-free groceries when we discovered our daughter’s gluten sensitivity. This was food we could not afford at the time.
Now my family is back in the position of helping others–after several years of seeing no light at the end of the tunnel.
Are you in the position to help combat childhood hunger? Will you share a meal–not just during the holidays but year-round? What are you doing in your community to help end the changing face of child hunger?
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Unilever. The opinions and text are all mine.