Happy September, everyone!
For me, September marks the (un)official start of fall – a season full of apples, pumpkin spice everything, and the perfect autumn color… orange.
But, during the month of September, orange represents much more than changing leaves and pumpkin-shaped cookies…
It represents Hunger Action Month.
In 2013, approximately 17.5 million households in the United States of America were found to be food-insecure at some point during the year. This means that these families were unsure if they would be able to, or were unable to, buy food to feed their families. Of those 17.5 million households, 6.8 million were found to have very low food insecurity – this is when one or more household members have to change or reduce their food intake during the year because they lack funds or other resources for food.
When I first heard these statistics back in graduate school, I was amazed and shocked because I didn’t realize that we had such poverty in our country. This inspired me to act and reach out to local food support programs (Meals On Wheels, local food pantries) to see how I could help out and help reduce the prevalence of hunger in my community.
One of the tasks that I did for my local food pantry was to come up with easy, affordable, and healthy recipes that they could give out to their clients. The recipes were to use commonly donated pantry items (like canned green beans) and simple cooking methods, so that everyone who utilized the pantry could make healthier meals at home.
This was one of the hardest challenges I have ever done, but it was also one of the most rewarding. So, in honor of Hunger Action Month, I will be featuring three shareable recipes that are food pantry-friendly (and delicious too!).
I am challenging YOU, my amazing readers, to take on a month-long challenge with me. I am challenging you to donate one meal’s worth of ingredients to your local food bank during the month of September. You can bring canned goods that you like to cook with or you can donate the ingredients in one of the recipes I’m sharing (and pass along the recipe too!). It doesn’t matter how much or what you donate – one can of beans or one box of pasta means that we are one step closer to ending hunger in America.
If you have any food-pantry friendly recipes that you would like to share, let me know (give me a shout under the “Let’s Be Friends” tab). And show me how you are reaching out to help end hunger in your community using the hashtag #GSFfightshunger. Because together, we can make a difference!