1 in 8. That’s the number of Americans who will struggle with hunger today. That’s right, America. Surprising, isn’t it? Right here at home, people are hungry; people have to choose whether to pay their utility bills or buy food. Locally, 34% of the members of households served by the Akron-Canton Foodbank’s network of member agencies are children under 18 years old…and I find that completely disturbing.
September is Hunger Action Month, and what I love about Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity and founder of HAM (irony…), is that this isn’t a national campaign to tell you a sob story and drain your wallet. Feeding America asks us to get of our sustenance-filled As and give $1 (which provides THREE meals according to Feeding America or $7 of groceries through the CAK Foodbank, by the way) or do something to help.
Here’s my favorite tangible way, which I found on the Akron-Canton Foodbank’s Web site. If you’re cheap (eh ehm…), have little extra income to give or have an abundance of tomatoes, beans and corn on the cob from your garden (which I do!), the Plant a Row for the Hungry program is for you. You can donate your extra produce until the end of the month at one of several drop-off locations. If you’re not from the area, I’d be willing to guess there’s a program like this at your local foodbank…call them!
I challenge you to come up with a good excuse for not donating your extra produce that doesn’t include some form of extreme laziness (but there’s a new episode of Holidate on!). In fact, call me, you lazy A-hole, and I’ll come pick it up and take it myself…and I won’t even tell anyone you’re lazy. ::fingers crossed behind back::
From the Akron-Canton Foodbank Web site:
Fall is harvest time for farms and gardens in northeast Ohio. Help the Foodbank provide fresh produce to the hungry in your community. Donate your surplus produce row to the Foodbank. The Foodbank is dedicated to providing nutritious food to those in need, and distributed over 2.5 million pounds of fresh produce in 2008.
The Plant a Row for the Hungry program is rooted in the heartfelt tradition of gardeners sharing a bountiful harvest with others. This program of the Garden Writers Association has provided over 14 million pounds of fresh produce to hunger-relief programs across the country since 1995. Locally, look for articles about this program in the Akron Beacon Journal home section on Saturdays, written by Mary Beth Breckenridge.
Donate your produce at any of these locations through September 30.
Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank
350 Opportunity Parkway, Akron
Drop-off times: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Call 330-535-6900 to schedule a drop-off appointment
Canton Road Garden Center
1881 Canton Road, Springfield Township
Drop-off times: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sunday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Crown Point Ecology Center
3220 Ira Road, Bath Township
Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon
Stow Administrative Offices
3760 Darrow Road, Stow
Stow Community Garden
5070 Stow Road, Stow
7 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week