This is a sponsored post, but please: read it anyway.
Yesterday, while I was at the doctor’s office with my mom, I logged into my various social networks through my phone. On Facebook, my friend Raya who works with a local district office, asked if anyone knew of any food banks in our county because she had a resident with hungry kids and had tapped out the local food bank, but her SNAP (food stamp) benefits wouldn’t kick in for at least another week.
Apparently, here in Philadelphia area there’s a bit of a food bank crisis because of the current economy. I know things have gotten better for my family, but they haven’t for everyone else. According to this article at Philly.com, local food banks have seen a 65% increase in people needing their services.
We’ve been very, very close to not knowing where our next meal was coming from (although, blessedly, it’s been a couple years since that happened to my family) and there were many weeks of subsisting on ramen noodles for us in 2009 and 2010. My heart goes out to any family in similar circumstances.
It’s a big problem, unfortunately. Feeding America states, “In the United States, more than one out of five children lives in a household with food insecurity, which means they do not always know where they will find their next meal. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 16.7 million children under 18 in the United States live in this condition – unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life. In 2009, the top five states with the highest rate of food insecure children under 18 are the District of Columbia, Oregon, Arizona, Arkansas, & Texas. 20% or more of the child population in 40 states and D.C. lived in food insecure households in 2009.”
Luckily, when my friend Raya posted about this particular family in our area struggling, many local folks stepped up and last night a week’s worth of groceries were delivered to the family so they could have dinner (and breakfast, and lunch the next day and the next). But that’s just one family in one town; how many others need help?
Sometimes I understand that technology has become far too much a part of my life. I pick up my cell phone all too often to check in online, and I’ve had folks ask me with concern if I’m addicted to the internet. In fact, this spurred me into spending most of the weekend offline.
But I’m so grateful that I picked up my phone yesterday and checked Facebook, and was a small part of a group of people that helped this family. I also plan to start purchasing $15-$20 worth of items while on each grocery shopping trip to donate so that I can help boost the inventory at our local food bank.
What about you? Can you afford to donate some groceries to your local food bank? If you can, please do.
I’m so thankful to the folks at Otterbox, whose products help me keep my iPhone safe and protected. I’m also thankful to them for having sponsored this blog post – and gave me the freedom to write about what I wanted to write about while sharing about their awesome products. I was compensated for this post, and that gave me the ability to help the family I shared about here. Sometimes things really work out. Thanks, Otterbox. I love my bright purple iPhone cover.