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What YOU Can Do to Help People on Food Stamps Get Through Week Four

August 18, 2014 by

 

Part 4 of a Multi-Part Blog Series About Food Stamps

We can all make a difference in the fight for greater food security in New York City, and help those who rely on SNAP to make their benefits go further. Want to get involved? Here’s how:

1. Get educ-ate-d.

Why are families in our own backyard struggling to put food on the table when there’s plenty being grown and tons being tossed? How about the fact that the cheapest food is the unhealthiest? Or that people in the poorest neighborhoods (aka food deserts) have limited access to fresh fruits and vegetables? Devour everything you can on the subject. Subscribe to news feeds and newsletters. Changing your own consumption behavior (meaning what and how you eat, and where you dispose of your waste) counts, too. Some great resources include:

2. Don-ate to food pantries.

Find a food pantry near you at Feeding America. Call in advance to see what kind of donations they want.  Here’s a short list from Food Bank for NYC. Be mindful of sugar, sodium and fat content when donating.

3. Advoc-ate for healthy (and free!) school and summer meals.

Launch and/or sign petitions in support of universal and healthy school breakfast and lunch at change.org. Or petition your representative in Congress. It’s easier than you think: Learn how at TakePart.com.

4. Prolifer-ate food drives.

Many schools, churches, synagogues, clubs and groups have food drives. Contribute. Or start your own via your book club, pilates class, networking group or PTA.  Galvanize your work colleagues and your neighbors.

5. Activ-ate your career.

Sometimes an issue resonates so deeply it instantly moves us to career- and life-changing action. There are many jobs that directly and positively impact, and help mitigate, those living with food insecurity. Learn about at least six of them at Devex.

6. Motiv-ate others.

They say sharing is caring, right?  Make others aware of the issue. You don’t have to be preachy about it. In fact, there’s much to be gained by walking the talk.  Participate in Meatless Monday.  Check out this amazing Good and Cheap cookbook  — geared to SNAP recipients — featuring delicious recipes made on just $4 a day! Buy your produce locally from a CSA (community supported agriculture), farm stand or co-op. Share local stories and stats on social networks. Post photos of your windowsill cultivated spice garden from your high-rise—to show how urban gardens can work in just about any space. Separate out your food scraps—eggshells, half-eaten burger, orange peels—from the rest of your trash and bin them accordingly. Plan your meals to minimize waste in the first place. Eat what you buy.  Support organizations, like Ample Table For Everyone, to help fund local community action that’s impactful, scalable and sustainable.

Most important, don’t be shy. Share how you plan to get involved in fighting food insecurity in NYC.

 




Categories: Food Stamp Series

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