If you’ve ever had to skip a meal or two on a particularly hectic day, you know how hard it can be to focus on anything other than your grumbling stomach. These moments can be irritating but hopefully aren’t typical. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for 1 in 8 Americans who struggle with food insecurity—the inability to access enough food to live an active, healthy life.
This silent epidemic affects families from all walks of life. Unexpected bills, layoffs, illnesses, or repairs are just a few of the things that can suddenly plunge families into food insecurity, forcing them to make difficult choices. This may mean that people opt for cheap, nutritionally deficient calories or skip meals altogether.
While it’s hard to function optimally under such circumstances, young children are particularly vulnerable. One study found that children in food-insecure households are at increased risk of both physical and behavioral problems like iron deficiency and anxiety, which may lead to poor academic performance at school.
Food Banks Fill the Gap
For households that don’t qualify for federal nutrition assistance, food banks are an invaluable resource. The Feeding America network alone—which includes 200 food banks and 600 food pantries nationally—serves more than 46 million people, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors.
A food bank’s ecosystem works by receiving donations from individuals, companies, government agencies, and more. Once delivered to the warehouse, food is distributed through a variety of programs like food pantries (arms that connect food with communities in need) and meal programs.
It’s the #SeasonOfThriving
At Thrive Market, we’re working to tackle these issues, but we need your help. This holiday season, we’re making a difference in the lives of those who need it most, so we've rounded up several ways for you to get involved.
Whether you’re ready to jump in and volunteer or you prefer doing good deeds behind the scenes, there are lots of way to send (wholesome) holiday cheer in the form of groceries and meals to someone in need. So let's fill more plates this holiday season! Here are a few ways to do it:
1. Goodwill to All
On social media, share a photo of yourself volunteering, using the hashtag #SeasonOfThriving, and we’ll donate $5 in healthy groceries to food banks across the U.S.
2. Double Your Gift
Through the end of the year, every dollar donated on the Thrive Market checkout page will be matched by our Founders and will fund healthy meals for individuals and families in need. Simply select your donation amount from the dropdown menu when placing your next Thrive Market order to help us raise another $100,000 by Dec. 31, 2017.
3. Gift Your Time
Give through action and volunteer at your local food bank.
Join us in giving back—your support will help us make a lasting change in someone’s life!