Over 12 million kids in the U.S. struggle with food security––and world hunger affects 821 million people across the globe. You and your kids can rise against hunger by helping those in need. We’ve compiled a list of 10 ways your family can take action, including gestures big and small that are totally doable and rewarding. Read on for where to volunteer with your kids and to learn about how you can feed the hungry today.
1. Buy a Doll From cuddle+kind
1 doll = 10 meals. This family-owned business is near hitting a milestone of giving five million meals to kids in need in less than three years. Simply do your holiday shopping by purchasing dolls from their collection, which includes a mermaid, unicorns, and other delightful animals, and you’ll be providing meals for hungry kids around the world in 66 countries—the U.S., Canada, Haiti and Peru among them. Cuddle+Kind has partnerships with several respected humanitarian agencies including World Food Program USA, Children’s Hunger Fund, Breakfast Club of Canada and WE Charity to guarantee that every purchase directly benefits children in need.
2. Start a Spare Change Donation Jar for Feeding America
Feeding America provides families with a free ‘Hungry to Help Family Action Plan‘ (pdf) to better understand and empathize with those who suffer from hunger and to explain how to stop food insecurity for the 1 in 6 kids in the U.S. who face hunger. They give kids young and old several ways to help, from hosting personal fundraisers like a lemonade stand whose proceeds go to Feeding America, volunteering as a family at a local food bank, or starting a donation jar to collect spare change to give money to fight hunger. Collecting coins is a very doable goal for even the youngest kids. They’ll see their pennies, nickels, quarters and dimes stack up before their eyes and may be surprised at how quickly and easily they were able to amass a nice amount of money to aid others.
photo: Meals on Wheels America
3. Deliver Food to Homebound Seniors via Meals on Wheels America
Meals on Wheels estimates that nine million seniors in America struggle with hunger. You can help homebound seniors by delivering them a warm meal and checking in on them to say hello. You’ll pick up the meals at a central location and then deliver them along an assigned route to several seniors in your proximity. Contact your local Meals on Wheels location and they will come up with a schedule that’s convenient for you, enabling you to deliver meals as much as you’d like from monthly to weekly.
4. Give the Gift of Goats
Give a hungry family in need the gift that keeps giving by donating a goat or pair of goats via World Vision. Goats produce nutritious milk that provides nourishment to growing kids, and parents can also sell excess goat milk to support their family. Goats also produce manure that enables families to fertilize their crops and grow and diversify their vegetable gardens. One goat costs $85 and a pair of goats costs $170. Kids can join together with their Girl/Boy Scouts Groups or school clubs to raise money together and give this beneficial gift that changes lives.
photo: No Kid Hungry
5. Host a Friendsgiving Dinner via No Kid Hungry
There are myriad ways to fight hunger with No Kid Hungry. This holiday season, consider hosting a Friendsgiving dinner. Add a special fundraising component to your Thanksgiving dinner gatherings with family and friends to help the 1 in 6 kids in America who face hunger. No Kid Hungry even provides resources to help you run a successful event. The funds you raise help No Kid Hungry connect kids across the country to effective school meal programs like school breakfast and summer meals when the school doors close for the year.
6. Host a Bake Sale for No Kid Hungry
Most kids love to bake, so why not turn their hobby into philanthropy and have them whip up some treats to host a bake sale for No Kid Hungry? Kids can ‘bake a difference’ and ‘raise dough’ to feed hungry kids in America by signing up for an informative Bake Sale toolkit that will guide their efforts with resources and helpful tips. What a sweet way to lend a hand.
photo: Williams Sonoma
7. Purchase Tools for Change Spatulas
Williams Sonoma makes it easy to be a do-gooder while also checking some thoughtful holiday gifts off your list. The company’s Tools for Change fundraising campaign helps end childhood hunger in America via limited-edition spatulas designed by celebrities, chefs, athletes and musicians including Gwen Stefani, Ina Garten and Scarlett Johansson. Williams Sonoma has provided more than 55 million meals to help children in need across the country through this initiative. This year, they hope to raise $2.5 million, which will help connect hungry kids to nearly 25 million meals. Browse the colorful collection which will delight kids and adults alike here.
8. Turn Everyday Activities into Fundraisers for Mercy Corps
Mercy Corps has an impeccable track record of providing life-saving, life-changing assistance to people in need in the most vulnerable locations worldwide for nearly 40 years. They offer an array of kid-friendly, fun suggestions for how kids and families can raise money to donate and help provide food, clean water and education on crop planting and harvesting to communities in need. Mercy Corps suggests that everyday activities we may not think twice about can become fundraisers with some planning. Help your kids brainstorm upcoming events they have at school, sports and clubs that they can spin into an opportunity to raise money for Mercy Corps.
photo: Love With Food
9. Buy Snacks from Love with Food by SnackNation
This opportunity truly lets you put your money where your mouth is. Love With Food by SnackNation is an organic, all-natural subscription snack service that ships a delicious selection of healthy snacks straight to your door. Not only can you keep your pantry stocked with the latest yummy snacks on the market, but Love With Food also enables you to spread the love because they donate a meal to an American family in need for every box they send to you. The company has donated over one million years to date!
10. Raise Donations Instead of Receiving Gifts at Your Birthday Party
Kids Can Make a Difference provides a wealth of information for young people who want to raise awareness and money to end hunger. One very meaningful way that kids can make an impact is by asking parents, friends and grandparents to donate to a hunger-fighting organization in lieu of buying a birthday gift. Kids can include info on the organization they want to donate to on their birthday invitation, explaining the cause, and how the money will help those in need. They can ask that donations be made in their name to said organization. Truly a cause for celebration.