Hunger and the Holidays: How you can be an anti-hunger advocate at your own Thanksgiving table

Living in a county with the 5th richest city in America, it’s hard to imagine that so many people go hungry each day in our region. Hunger in San Diego County does not always mean starvation, but it does mean not knowing exactly how to pay for groceries, not being able to afford nutritious foods, or regularly skipping meals so your children can eat. We call it “food insecurity,” and it means not having enough food at all times to lead an active, healthy life.

As we head to the table this Thanksgiving, we encourage our supporters to take a moment to help spread the word about the hunger that lives right in the heart of our own communities. Typically, we think of Thanksgiving as a great time to volunteer at the food bank, but did you know that many food banks and pantries actually have to turn away volunteers at this time, since it is one of the only times more people volunteer than they can handle? If you can’t find an opportunity to volunteer, there are still many other ways you can get involved in the fight against hunger this Thanksgiving holiday season!

Suggestions for how you can bring hunger issues to the conversation and be an active advocate for the hungry this Thanksgiving:

  1. Create place cards with hunger statistics on the back of them for setting your Thanksgiving table.
  2. Enjoy a good Turkey Trot? This one benefits two local anti-hunger organizations (and it is dog friendly!).
  3. Create a “Tip the Cook” jar and donate that money to your favorite anti-hunger organization.
  4. To spark the conversation around hunger, ask everyone at the table to guess how many people are food insecure in America (49.1 million) and San Diego (470,000).
  5. Sometime during Thanksgiving weekend, screen A Place at the Table, an insightful documentary about hunger in America, which includes testimonials from Jeff Bridges and Tom Colicchio.
  6. In honor of giving Tuesday on December 1st, give the Hunger Coalition a good old-fashioned donation. Your money in partnership with the Hunger Coalition funds the incubation of new, permanent solutions to hunger.