Four Ways to be a Hunger Fighter in 2021
While a new year brings a fresh start and renewed hope, we also know that the significant challenges our community (and the world) have faced this year will not magically disappear in 2021. Hunger existed before the pandemic, and it will continue to impact our neighbors, including almost 900,000 people in North Texas, after the immediate threat of the pandemic has passed.
The North Texas Food Bank is grateful for the outpouring of support and generosity we have received from people across North Texas and beyond to help us meet the elevated need spurred by the pandemic. The economic impact of COVID-19 will continue to be felt for some time, and NTFB will need the support of the community more than ever moving forward. There are many ways to get involved, and we invite you to join us in the fight against hunger.
Below are four ways to be a hunger fighter in 2021.
- Donate. Right now, monetary donations are the most useful and efficient way to support food banks. These donations give us the flexibility and funds to respond wherever the need is highest. NTFB often has matching campaigns taking place which allow your donations to have even more impact. At the Food Bank, $1 equals 3 meals, so you do not have to give a lot to make a difference. You can make a donation here at any time: Give Now – North Texas Food Bank (ntfb.org). Food donations are also appreciated, and we encourage you to contact us or review our website for the items most in need. We have an Amazon Wish List for easy ordering and be sure to review our list of healthy food items most beneficial to our clients. You can also start a virtual food drive.
- Spread the word. No zip code or neighborhood is immune from hunger, and the pandemic has brought this reality to the forefront. And while more people are now aware of the depths of the hunger need, we still rely on the public to help us get the word out about opportunities to support our work. You can contribute by becoming a Social Media Ambassador in 2021. Additionally, when you volunteer or make a food or monetary donation, let your friends know about it (you can even start your own fundraiser on Facebook!).
- Advocate. The North Texas Food Bank’s anti-hunger mission goes beyond directly getting food to people in need. It also works to advance policies that address the complexities that can lead to hunger. In 2021, you can fight hunger by calling your elected officials. Tell them you are worried about the long lines you see in the media at food bank distributions and ask them what can be done about it. We have some policy recommendations here and here, and you can find your representatives here.
- Volunteer. We say this a lot because it’s true: Volunteers are the heart of what we do. While we needed to halt our traditional volunteer operations at the onset of the pandemic, we are grateful for the almost 2,000 individual volunteers who have supported NTFB’s mobile pantry program this year. We continue to need volunteers both at mobile pantries and in our distribution center. Visit here to explore available opportunities: ntfb.org/volunteer. High school students and young professionals can also explore our affiliate groups.
The North Texas Food Bank will never give up the fight against hunger, and we hope to work alongside you in 2021 as we continue our mission to bridge the hunger gap in North Texas.
Caryn Berardi is a Communications Specialist for the North Texas Food Bank.