Mental Health Wellness Food Insecurity and Homelessness Month – Cibola Citizen

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November 16, 2022

November is Food Insecurity & Houselessness Awareness Month, a time where we recognize the scarcity of food in our communities and do more to assist people in finding access to resources.
This annual awareness allows people to draw attention to the concerns of hunger and houselessness through education, participating in service opportunities, fundraising, and advocacy. Let’s work toward a world where no one has to experience houselessness and hunger.
Why? Because while many families see November as a month filled with Thanksgiving dinners, family gatherings, and the kick-off of holiday shopping, there are millions of people that do not see this time of year as the joyous occasion others do.
The National Runaway Safeline estimates that on any given night, there are approximately 1.3 million houseless youth living unsupervised on the streets, in abandoned buildings, or with friends or strangers.
Almost 48 million Americans, including 16 million children, live in homes that are unable to provide nutritious food on a regular basis, falling into the category of food insecurity. Food insecurity is the inability to provide nutritionally adequate food on a consistent basis for one’s self or their family.
Food insecurity exists in approximately 17.2 million households in America. Of these homes, 3.9 million of them contain children. It may be hard to believe, but food insecurity truly exists in every state, county, and town in America and does not discriminate, proving that anyone can go hungry.
The fact is that many Americans live paycheck to paycheck. The struggle to keep the basic needs fulfilled can be a daily struggle. It takes only one misstep – an illness, injury, or temporary job loss – to place anyone on the path to poverty, hunger, even houselessness. In the United States, over 42 million Americans live below the poverty level. Of those, one in five are children living in poverty. Just over a half-million have nowhere to sleep at night.
All year long, food pantries, shelters, and other service organizations work to offer assistance to people. They provide food, secure places to sleep, and other aid to those who need it most. These organizations require financial and service donations. Whether they are providing meals, clean towels, socks, or a place to rest, they’re vital to communities. Their services connect vulnerable people to resources they may otherwise go without!
Ways to Get Involved
– Volunteer at a food bank or soup kitchen to help out in your community and alleviate hunger to those who are struggling. Food banks often need help with packing or unpacking boxes and stocking shelves this time of year and volunteers are almost always needed!
– Soup kitchens need people to help prepare and serve food as well, giving a more personal experience helping out others.
– Also, holding a nonperishable food and hygiene product drive can be a big help to stock the shelves of these foodbanks and shelters.
– Donating to any hunger alleviation cause will benefit the community just as well as the other methods. By providing resources with donations, you will be aiding them in their mission.
– Find additional information on housing and food access on November’s Dose of Wellness page.
As a society, we can come together to eradicate hunger and food insecurity!

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