In the dog days of August, life slows down in reaction to the heat of summer and as many fit in their last vacation days before the busyness of fall kicks in. At the same time, some people and organizations use these days to get ready for that fall busyness.
Fall is a particularly active time of the year for the hunger relief network, beginning with Hunger Action Month™ in September. September also kicks off the annual Fall Food Drive season (more than 50% of food drive donations each year are made in October and November), so right now, most hunger relief organizations are preparing for these upcoming months.
So are we. And we’re even busier due to something we could literally not be more excited about – our recently announced collaboration with Feeding America.
Feeding America®, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization with a network of 200 member food banks, distributed more than four billion pounds of food last fiscal year,one third of which was fresh produce. In May, Feeding America announced an initiative to increase distribution of fruits and vegetables from one third to nearly half of the total pounds of food distributed. In addition, Feeding America will work with member food banks and pantries to help make the healthy choice the easiest choice.
The #GiveHealthy Movement and Feeding America are working on two initiatives designed to increase the fresh produce and other healthy food people donate to food drives supporting food banks and their agencies.
The first is a pilot program in which select food banks from across the country will participate. The pilot begins in early September and will run for a year. It is keyed on encouraging groups that organize food drives to support the pilot food banks with #GiveHealthy drives.
The second initiative is to educate the Feeding America member food banks and agencies about how they can leverage the #GiveHealthy Movement to increase the healthy food donations they receive. Feeding America’s HungerandHealth.org now carries #GiveHealthy information, including FAQs for food banks and food pantries.
We’ve been working hard with Feeding America these past several months so that these initiatives dovetail with the upcoming fall food drive season. It’s been great working with them and exciting to be getting enthusiastic feedback from their network.
All of this is in addition to lots of other activities we are mapping out for the fall. Besides Feeding America, we’re so happy to count Share Our Strength, WhyHunger, Wholesome Wave, The Food Trust, Food Tank, Ashley Koff Approved and many others as active participants in and supporters of the #GiveHealthy Movement.