Kate Laferriere: What action will you take? | TheUnion.com

Kate Laferriere: What action will you take?

September is Hunger Action Month, when Feeding America and member food banks ask everyone in America to take action to fight hunger in their community, all month long.

Hunger exists in every county in the U.S., affecting 48 million Americans (1 in 7) including 15 million children. In 2015, 14,000 residents of Nevada County were identified as food insecure; lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. Interfaith Food Ministry (IFM) joins the Feeding America nationwide network of food banks in believing that hunger is solvable and fighting to end it.

Hunger Action Month is a great opportunity to join IFM in a movement that has a real and lasting impact on those struggling with food insecurity! Whatever the time or talent, anyone can make a difference for IFM and a powerful impact on those in need. Whether it’s by advocating and raising awareness on hunger issues, making donations, volunteering to distribute food or creating a fundraising idea or event, IFM challenges individuals to use their talents to alleviate hunger.

The best way to make an impact is capitalizing on strength and passion. Rob Katzenstein has a passion for solar power as well as for fighting food insecurity. As the president of Clean Power Cooperative, he wrote a grant for $1,000 toward the installation of solar power at IFM, reducing energy costs provides more money for purchasing food. Mary Owens, of Owens Estate and Wealth Strategies Group, put her knowledge and talent in confidential documents to work in creating a highly successful Community Shred Day fundraiser for IFM. Many members of service organizations like Kiwanis, the Elks, and Soroptimists have promoted activities during meetings to raise awareness of hunger’s impact on the community. By working with IFM’s bulk-purchasing power, their efforts have gone deeper and wider in helping those in need.

In 2015, 14,000 residents of Nevada County were identified as food insecure; lacking reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.

Individuals don’t have to belong to a large business or service organization to be a catalyst for hope. One working mom purchased grocery gift cards and through IFM gave joy to a struggling family in grief. IFM was able to direct the cards to a father of a young family whose wife had recently passed away. The donation of grocery gift cards helped make IFM’s mission of “Feeding Families, Fueling Hope” a reality. A small donation in the right direction made a huge impact.

Just by shopping at Save Mart or SPD and using a home phone number can make a big difference. Most chain grocery and retail stores and restaurants participate in nonprofit fundraising. By registering your phone number through their program a percentage of your purchases can go directly from the vendor to IFM. Both Save Mart and SPD give 3 percent of purchases. Every penny counts in the purchasing power of IFM.

Interfaith Food Ministry is hosting several events to involve the community supporting Hunger Action Month:

Participate in the Interfaith Food Ministry Food Drive on Saturday, Sept. 24. You don’t have to leave home! Just simply leave your donation of nonperishable goods next to your mailbox before the delivery Letter carriers will collect the non-perishable food donations on that day as they deliver mail along their postal routes. Interfaith Food Ministry volunteers will pick up the donations from your post office. Donations can also be left at local Nevada County post offices.

On Sept. 16-17, volunteers will be at SPD in Grass Valley registering shoppers for the SPD Community Card. All registered cards will provide 3 percent of purchases to IFM.

On Sept. 23-24, volunteers will be at Save Mart registering shoppers for eScrip. Save Mart will donate 3 percent of all registered shoppers’ purchases to IFM.

Friday, Oct. 7 is Interfaith Food Ministry’s annual Spaghetti Dinner at Paulette’s Country Cafe. Bring family and friends for a delicious dinner and fun evening and at the same time help alleviate hunger.

There are a multitude of different ways for families to make September’s Hunger Action Month memorable in raising awareness of the impact of hunger and provide support to help those in need. IFM invites everyone to visit http://www.interfaithfoodministry.org to stay current with the great events at IFM that this community makes possible. Or, visit Feeding America’s hunger-relief initiatives at http://www.feedingamerica.org.

Through the collaboration of the diverse talent of many compassionate individuals, IFM has the resources and purchasing power to make a significant impact in our local community.

Together we can alleviate hunger.

R. Kate Laferriere lives in Grass Valley.

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