As the Holidays Approach, How to Help Hungry Families in Oceanside
OCEANSIDE, CA – The holidays are approaching. As your kids make their Christmas lists and you start planning an elaborate holiday meal with all the trimmings, this is also a perfect opportunity to research ways to help and give back to your Oceanside neighbors.
One way is to make sure everyone at Oceanside has their own holiday meal and full stomachs for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
San Diego County is among those where residents sometimes face food insecurity, according to Feeding America, the nation’s largest network of pantries and food banks.
Before the pandemic, 9.2% of people in San Diego County were considered to be food insecurity, according to Feeding America. The continued economic fallout from the pandemic has increased that number to 11.4% of people who could be on the verge of hunger.
This past holiday season, 80 percent of Feeding America’s food banks said they served more people than the same time the year before.
This year could be similar. Nationally, Feeding America estimates that up to 42 million people – including 13 million children – could be food insecure in 2021. As a result, food banks nationwide have seen their use increase. by almost 55%.
There are many ways to help before the holidays. Here are some ideas:
Donate to a pantry
Pantry and food banks saw a 55% increase in their use during the pandemic, according to the latest data from Feeding America, erasing a decade of progress toward ending hunger in the United States.
Donating to a pantry is easy. Pantries accept any âshelf stableâ or non-perishable food – that means you can keep it in your pantry and it won’t spoil. It’s also a good rule of thumb to only feed foods that have not yet reached their expiration date.
See a list of what to give to the pantry and what to avoid.
Volunteer in a food bank or pantry
More than half of all food programs in the United States rely entirely on volunteers, according to Feeding America. While volunteering might seem different depending on where you are, here is a sample of the jobs you could do:
- Keep pantry shelves stocked and assemble food boxes for pickup.
- Help with fundraising or awareness of pantry services.
- Deliver meals or boxes of food.
- Help with distribution in drive-through or mobile pantries.
Organize a fundraiser
You can take action against hunger in Oceanside by organizing a fundraiser for Feeding America or any other local food bank or pantry. Not only is this a great way to tackle food insecurity, but it’s also a fun way to interact with others while making a difference in your community.
Here are some ways to fundraise for Feeding America:
If you’d rather fundraise for another local pantry or food bank, contact them to see how you can help.
Put pressure on your legislators
You can use your voice to advocate for those struggling with food insecurity. Federal food programs are a necessity to end hunger – for every meal provided by a pantry, government food programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) provide nine.
Organizations like Feeding America make it easier to communicate with your legislators by using these contact forms.
Feeding America serves 200 member food banks that serve and deliver 60,000 pantries, kitchens and meal programs across the country.
Find your local food bank
MAKE A DONATION
Donate to Feeding America*
Credit: Photo patch / Shutterstock
Patch has partnered with Feeding America to help educate the millions of Americans facing hunger. Feeding America, which supports 200 food banks across the country, estimates that by 2021 more than 42 million Americans will not have enough nutritious food to eat due to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. This is a Patch Social Good Project; Feeding America receives 100 percent of donations. * Find out how you can donate in your community or find a pantry near you.