"We hear from working parents trying to provide for their children, individuals who have lost their jobs and seniors having to decide between food and needed medication-all struggling to put food on their tables," said Kathy Underhill, executive director for Hunger Free Colorado, the state's leading anti-hunger organization. "The impact of hunger on adults and children in particular can be harmful, affecting their health, development, cognitive skills and overall well-being. That's why we're working to ensure every Coloradan has access to adequate, nutritious food."
With "Make a Difference Day" on Oct. 27, now is the time to become a part of the solution to end hunger in the state. Here are several ways that people can get involved:
• Learn more and become a hunger-free champion about the issue of hunger in Colorado. Arm yourself with information so you can help raise awareness about hunger in Colorado as well as the solutions to solve it. Talk to family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. Share hunger facts and stories. Ask them to get involved.
• Volunteer your time in the fight against hunger. Anti-hunger organizations across the state need volunteer support throughout the year. Use your free time to make a difference in someone's life.
• Be an advocate and contact your member of Congress. Urge your representatives to support legislation that helps-not hurts-families and individuals struggling with hunger. You can also sign up for Hunger Free Colorado news and alerts to stay informed on upcoming legislation.
• Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper about hunger in your community. Share the facts and solutions so others become aware of this issue that affects so many Coloradans.
• Have a hunger expert speak to your group. Invite a representative from a Colorado anti-hunger organization to speak to your community group, church, civic organization or company. They can share stories and insights as well as how organizations are addressing it through social change, policy change and system change.
• Teach your children that healthy food matters. Cook a meal with your child and explain that not all families in Colorado have access to nutritious food.
• Pack your own lunch. If you usually buy lunch, brown bag it one day or more and donate the money that you would have spent to a local anti-hunger organization. Support their efforts to end hunger in Colorado.
• Donate to the 9Cares Colorado Shares winter food drive. Shop for nutritious foods and drop off your donations at one of the 35 locations across Colorado on Oct. 27.
"There are sustainable solutions that can be made through collaboration, social change, policy change and system change, so people don't have to worry where their next meal may come from," shared Underhill. "We're making progress in our state, but there's more work to be done and we can't do it with the community's support."
For more information on Hunger Free Colorado, the issue of hunger in the state and how you can become a part of the solution, visit www.hungerfreecolorado.org.
Written by Michelle Ray, director of communications for Hunger Free Colorado. Photo credit to volunteer, Jason Knowles.
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