(Note: Sara is a United Way Young Leaders volunteer)
“The girl can eat!”
It’s a sentence I hear a lot. I wince after overdoing Thanksgiving, only to ask if there’s any leftover pumpkin pie. My mom says she doesn’t need Yelp or Zomato because I’m on top of the newest restaurants in town. My favorite part of marathon training was enjoying a family-sized bowl of pasta after a 20-mile run. I’ve even been compared to a toddler—I get cranky if I don’t eat every 3-4 hours!
I may joke about feeling “hangry,” but the reality is that hunger in our community is no laughing matter.
What’s happening around us?
While I’m fortunate to have developed such a hearty appetite, many of our neighbors are not. Did you know that more than 76,000 children in our region live in poverty?
Or that 244,000 people are food insecure, lacking reliable access to sufficient, affordable, nutritious food?
In fact, North Carolina is sixth highest in percentage of citizens experiencing food hardship each month.
Beyond the physical challenges, hunger has emotional and mental repercussions as well. Imagine how much stress parents feel when they don’t know if they’ll be able to feed their children dinner. And how focused can a child be in school if lunch is his or her only meal of the day?
United Way Young Leaders – an affinity group of United Way of Central Carolinas – will hold their seventh annual Week to Fight Hunger from November 9 – 14. This week is designed to increase awareness of hunger issues in our community and get young professionals engaged in helping our neighbors in need. More details here.
Ways to get involved
5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday — Strike Out Hunger. After work on Monday, join more than 150 young professionals at BB&T Ballpark to kick off Week to Fight Hunger. Get in some batting practice, pack snack packs and hear from leaders in our community.
Tuesday — Make the Big Play with Bené. At lunchtime on Tuesday, join Big Play Bené – the Panthers cornerback and United Way ambassador – at the EpiCentre to help make snack packs for kids.
Volunteer – We have a variety of projects serving and working with the hungry all week long, from meal prep to mobile pantries – have fun while making a difference. See volunteer opportunities here.
The Hunger Challenge – Could you live on a food budget of $4 per day? The Hunger Challenge is designed to provide a firsthand experience of the hardships many Charlotteans face daily in feeding themselves and their families. More details here.
Engage Socially – Unable to participate? You can post, share, like and retweet to help raise awareness on social media. Please be sure to use #WTFH2015 or #hungerchallenge2015.
(Photo credits: United Way of Central Carolinas)