Look around you. One in six households in America is currently food insecure, meaning they have little or no access to food. That could be your next-door neighbor or the house across the street. Now, look closer. One in four children in America is food insecure. When schools were open, many would leave on a Friday afternoon and not get another meal until they came back to school on Monday morning. When the schools were asked to close, then what happened?
Oh, and let’s throw more fuel onto this fire that wasn’t caused by the global pandemic but exacerbated by it—the disproportionate impact to certain communities given existing inequities.
“It is a very disturbing situation out there right now. It's really tough for a lot of people. We found that even before Covid-19, there were 37 million people who didn't have enough food to eat. And we're estimating that now that number is as many as 54 million people in the United States. Food insecurity has always disproportionately hit people of color. And before Covid, Black Americans were two and a half times more likely to be in a food-insecure household and Latinos were twice as likely to live in a food-insecure household. So, significantly more than the general population and we're doing everything we can to make sure that we're reaching people in those communities.”
Cathy, who formerly worked agency-side for brands like McDonald’s, Calvin Klein, and RB, was drawn the CMO role at Feeding America because she was horrified by the hunger problem and knew she could make a difference in driving both awareness and action to help. Cathy’s advice for anyone looking to make the leap to nonprofit? It’s simple…volunteer or join a board. The experience will give you a better sense of how the organization works and how you can be most helpful. But the main takeaway is that any one of us can be involved in some way.
When I received a call from Alexis Glick, CEO of GENYOUth, back in April I knew we had to try to help. GENYOUth is the organization that helps schools stay open so they can continue to serve food to the children who depend on them as their food source. And throughout the past few months not only did the schools stay open with severe underfunding, but the buses still ran—not to take kids to school, but to deliver them food.
We called Feeding America and No Kid Hungry and together with GENYOUth we’ve been working together with a number of brands in our BrandsTogether platform to try and figure out how to aid this crisis, but honestly, it’s too massive for anyone to solve alone.
So, how can you help?
- Look around and be aware of the problem. It’s all around us.
- Tell all your friends, families, colleagues about this devastating reality here in this country to continue to raise awareness.
- Get involved. There are so many great initiatives underway. Join forces or go directly to any charity that is focused on this effort. Feeding America, GENYOUth, No Kid Hungry are fantastic organizations to work with and they all work together!