At Food for Others, September marks more than just the changing of seasons, it’s a time where our community gathers together for Hunger Action Month. Hunger Action Month, observed each September, serves as a reminder of the power of collective action and compassion – two ideals that are reflected in the Food for Others mission to “distribute food to our neighbors in need by mobilizing our giving community and volunteers.”
In Fairfax County, roughly 81,000 people identify as food insecure – enough people to fill the Nationals Park stadium twice. Food for Others serves 3,000 families a week through our warehouse distribution and 3,900 students through the Power Pack Program. The latter of which includes an increase of schools served – expanding from 44 at the end of the ‘22-’23 school year to 51 at the start of the ‘23-’24 year. The need for food in our community is year-round, Hunger Action Month only serves to bring awareness.
Hunger Action Month serves as a call to action. We kicked off Hunger action Month with our 10th Annual 5K & Fun Run, a community event that both spread awareness and brought our neighbors together with a common goal of racing against hunger. Supervisor Palchik and Chairman McKay issued a proclamation, announcing September 2023 as Hunger Action Month at the start of the race. Hunger Action Month encourages us to take action on a local level and work towards building a food secure future together.
In the midst of the daily hustle and bustle, Hunger Action Month asks us to pause and consider the stark realities of food insecurity. It reminds us that thousands of our neighbors, friends, and children are uncertain about their next meal. It prompts us to reflect on the fact that hunger is not a distant problem; it’s a challenge faced by people in our own communities. As we enter into the Holiday season, a season focused on giving back, it’s important to carry this momentum forwards, knowing we have the power to create a brighter future together.