Thirty-three million people including 13 million children live in households that experience hunger or the risk of hunger. This represents one in ten households in the United States.1

4.1 percent of U.S. households experience hunger: they frequently skip meals or eat too little, sometimes going without food for a whole day. Nearly 8.5 million people, including 2.9 million children, live in these homes. 1

11.1 percent of U.S. households are at risk of hunger: they have lower quality diets or must resort to seeking emergency food because they cannot always afford the food they need. 24.7 million people, including 9.9 million children, live in these homes.1

Millions of poor children suffer from chronic under-nutrition, the under-consumption of essential nutrients and food energy. The risk of nutrient deficiencies that can lead to serious health problems, including impaired cognitive development, growth failure, physical weakness, anemia and stunting.

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It's easy to start a program in your area by following theses easy steps suggested by GWA.

STEP 1: Enlist A Network
The first step is to recruit volunteer participants.

  • Local Coordinator
  • Food distribution agency partner
  • Publicist
  • Events Organizer
  • Collections Organizer

STEP 2: Plan Your Campaign
PAR provides campaign how-to information based on feedback from successful field networks, along with communications supplies for:

  • Getting Started
  • A Typical Campaign
  • Planting Season Launch
  • Harvest Season Collections

STEP 3: Publicize Your Campaign
Publicity is the key to success; so, the first move is to publicize everything you do.

STEP 4: Celebrate The Harvest
Starting at midseason, enlist the media in building to the harvest party and cut-off date for recording donations. As the garden season peaks, the weekly totals will climb dramatically; so, don't give up on reporting the totals. It takes a newspaper, radio or TV host very little space to report climbing totals. Then, wrap up the campaign at the cut-off date with a harvest party.

I personally have been involved with PAR for 5 years. I started out by donating extra vegetables from my personal garden. I was so touched by what I saw when I delivered the produce I wanted to do more. In the spring I posted a notice in my church's bulletin asking folks to plant a little extra. When harvesting began they drop it off at our church office. I collect it 3 times a week and deliver it to soup kitchens and food depots in the area. I emphasize that no amount is too small, a lot of small donations add up to large amounts.

I can't begin to tell you how many hugs and handshakes I've received from folks waiting in line thanking me for helping them out. Remember many families are just one paycheck away from losing their home or having to ask for food.

PLANT A ROW FOR THE HUNGRY.

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To get involved contact info@gardenwriters.org or call toll-free 877.492.2727

Hunger statics, photo & logos courtesy of GWA