Next month kicks off Hunger Action Month and for the third year in a row, TASK will join anti-hunger advocates nationwide, spotlighting the chronic struggle millions of Americans have with food access.
Created in 2008 by Feeding America, the largest US-based hunger-relief, advocacy and education organization, Hunger Action Month is dedicated to encouraging everyone to effectively implement ways to alleviate and eventually end hunger and food insecurity. Food access always matters, but at a time when nearly half of the American population is feeling the painful economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, awareness is especially crucial. Already overwhelming, the number of families facing hunger and food insecurity is only projected to increase.
TASK fights hunger every year-round, but in September the city’s only soup kitchen takes added steps to spotlight this dilemma affecting nearly 40,000 Mercer County residents of which 10,000 are children. Since March when state-wide efforts began to stem the spread of COVID-19, the soup kitchen closed its main dining room and switched to serving meals to-go from its front door. Whether picking up a take-out meal at TASK’s main facility in Trenton or visiting one of its off-site meal services in a town nearby, TASK patrons receive hand-prepared meals that meet or exceed the USDA-recommended servings of dairy, fruit, vegetables, protein, and grains. Last year, TASK served more than 325,000 meals.
“TASK advocates for anyone experiencing hunger and food insecurity,” said TASK Executive Director Joyce E. Campbell. “This year, however, with the many conversations on racial and economic injustice and coping with the COVID-19 pandemic, Hunger Action Month can put a spotlight on the challenges felt right here in our own backyard. Everyone is feeling the crunch of these times, but we can’t deny that disadvantaged communities have been the hardest hit.”
During Hunger Action Month the soup kitchen will host various events and activities to inform and spotlight the many elements of hunger and food insecurity in the community. On September 10 – Hunger Action Day – don’t forget to wear orange which is the official color for hunger-relief. It’s also the day city officials in Trenton will recognize the campaign with a proclamation. On September 17 TASK will acknowledge Food Waste Prevention Day which was designed in New Jersey to spotlight the tons of uneaten food that ends up in landfills, contributing to both hunger and environmental deterioration. Additionally, the soup kitchen has brought back its “30 Ways in 30 Days Hunger Action Calendar” – a road map to the many steps anyone can take to make a difference with daily acts that can contribute to the at-home fight against hunger and food insecurity.