According to a study by the United Nations World Food Programme—the world’s largest humanitarian organization—an additional 130 million people globally “could be pushed to starvation by the end of 2020” because of coronavirus. “Food is a basic human right. We must do all we can to help the most vulnerable,” says Sandra Lee, who, as of today, will join WFP’s board of directors. Now more than ever, food banks and nonprofit organizations need your help to serve communities across the nation. Here’s how you can contribute—even if you’re stuck inside.
Were you just about to cook pasta again? If you have the means, please spare yourself and order takeout instead. With more than 25 percent of unemployed Americans coming from the food and service industry, it’s important to continue supporting your favorite haunts and staff if it’s in your budget. Plus, sponsors of the #StayInTakeOut social media initiative donate to Frontline Foods, which supports restaurants that deliver food to frontline workers. Pro tip: Call your fave restaurant directly instead of ordering through an app. That way, they’ll net all the profits.
View this post on Instagram
Join the #StayInTakeOut movement and help save our nation’s local restaurants and their jobs. Sponsors of StayInTakeOut.org like @Atlassian and Kea donate to @FrontlineFoods to benefit restaurants delivering to the frontlines, and engage their employees to order takeout for a broader impact. To participate, simply order takeout from your favorite restaurant, post a photo then tag us and 3 friends. Visit the link in our bio to learn more and see how you can get involved. #frontlinefoods
PLAY A GAME
Along with feeding millions of food-insecure people in America, World Food Program USA and its board members, like Lee, advocate with public officials and policymakers for domestic and global hunger relief programs. Even if you don’t have extra cash on hand to donate to this program, you can still help by taking a quiz. Seriously: For each correct answer, sponsors donate the cash equivalent of 10 grains of rice to the WFP to help fight hunger. From this game alone, $1.39 million has been donated for global relief.
REQUEST MEALS FOR YOUR COMMUNITY
If you know a group that could benefit from prepared meals, organizations like NYC-based Rethink Food, which works with closed restaurants and staff who likely would’ve been out of work otherwise, allow individuals to reach out and request help for groups in need.
Contact your local food pantry to find out how you can help them sort, pack, and distribute meals. If you have a bike, car, or any reliable means of transportation, consider becoming a food courier for your community. Just be sure to follow health and safety recommendations to make sure you’re doing more good than harm when bringing groceries to those who need help. For those who can’t get out to volunteer, you can still give your time. Check out how you can do so remotely with Hunger Free America.
CONTACT YOUR REPS
There are various government-assistance programs that work to get food and supplies to Americans. As officials continue to make decisions that impact the entire nation, make sure to contact your local officials to demand they dedicate resources and relief programs to the organizations and communities that need it most.
View this post on Instagram
The #HeroesAct that passed the House is now stuck in the Senate. It's time to #advocate for this legislation so that people across the country are able to put food on their tables. Contact your senators today to show your support for the Heroes Act and to stress the importance of increasing SNAP funding in order to help the millions of people who have lost their jobs during the #covidpandemic. #SNAPMatters #reliefbill #reliefpackage #contactyoursenator #callyoursenator #hungeradvocate #advocacy #endinghunger #endinghungerliftsusall #fightagainsthunger #hungerfreeamerica #covidresponse #covidrelief #coronavirusrelief
DONATE LITERAL DOLLARS
Sometimes donating money and supplies is the easiest and quickest way to help, so if that sounds doable to you and your bank account, consider gifting any amount of cash to one of these organizations and initiatives, some of which are accepting hygiene products and protective wear like masks and gloves in addition to food and monetary donations.
- Feeding America
As America’s largest hunger-relief organization with a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and programs, Feeding America has been provided critical assistance to many Americans throughout this crisis. Although Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund has received several large donations from celebrities and public figures, the need for more funds and resources is vital.
- The Betancourt-Macias Family Scholarship Foundation
This scholarship fund, which was originally set up to help undocumented people get an education, has shifted its focus. Consider donating to and fundraising for The Betancourt-Macias Family Scholarship Foundation, which helps undocumented individuals who are unable to file for unemployment benefits and use federal resources that could provide them relief during these times.
- America’s Food Fund
America’s Food Fund was launched by Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple, and the Ford Foundation, and a donation to their GoFundMe assists organizations like No Kid Hungry, Urban School Food Alliance, and Save the Children.
- Minnie’s Food Pantry
This Texas-based nonprofit is experiencing dwindling monetary and food donations as well as fewer and fewer volunteers as the pandemic continues and demand increases. A $1 donation to Minnie’s Food Pantry makes three meals, and you don’t even have to open a browser to contribute—just text MINNIES to 41444.