Today Jacqueline Wilson, the founder of The Monkey Do Project, and fellow Indianapolis blogger, is guest posting about something very important – Hunger in America. This is especially a problem as many children no longer have school lunches and meals. Find out how you can help end child hunger right here in the United States of America.
Shocking Facts about Hunger in America
A family of six lives in a shed without a door, sharing two cans of pasta for dinner.
A child falls asleep in class on Monday because she hasn’t had any food to eat since last Friday’s school lunch at school three days before.
People have to walk over 25 miles to the nearest source of food because they have no transportation.
A local food pantry turns people away because it is empty, leaving people with nowhere to go and nothing to eat.
This isn’t happening in a third world country, this is happening right in the United States in Appalachia.
Where Is Appalachia?
The Appalachia region is 205,000-square miles that stretch along the Appalachian Mountains from southern New York to northern Mississippi. It covers parts of 13 different states–Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and all of West Virginia–encompassing 420 counties and 25 million people.
Much of Appalachia is extremely rural and includes some of the poorest regions of the United States where some people live without electricity and regular meals just like in third world countries. It’s hard to imagine that this is happening right here in America, but extreme poverty and hunger are real.
It’s difficult to say exactly when my awareness of the poverty in the Appalachian region started. I grew up spending holidays and long, sweet summers in the Appalachian valleys in Southwestern Virginia. It wasn’t until much later that I understood that the dilapidated homes and trailers, outhouses, and dirty kids without shoes was a way of life for many of those in that region–many who were poverty-stricken.
Even as a child, I knew I was supposed to be doing something–that urgency, that tugging, that longing to help was still there and it never left, even as an adult. However, as I grew up, I was too busy wrapped up in my own life and things that I thought made me happy. Who had time for other people when there was so much of myself to think about?
After an extremely difficult period in my life, I knew that I was focusing on the wrong things. It was then that I realized that I needed to grow that passion to help the people of Appalachia that was placed in me so long ago.
So, how can we help?
Feeding the Hungry and Helping the People of Appalachia
In 2012, I finally followed my heart and created a non-profit to help the people of Appalachia. Monkey Do Project, Inc., is a registered non-profit based in Indianapolis, Indiana. Our non-profit feeds and helps people in need in the poorest regions of U.S. Appalachia and relies on giving hearts like yours to help people right here in our own country.
This summer, we have pledged to feed an entire community of hungry kids that don’t have food when they are out of school. Additionally, we are continuing to fill empty food banks so they can feed hungry Appalachia people, and we are giving 2,000 filled backpacks to another Appalachia community of kids.And those are just the summer projects.
All year long, we feed and help these Appalachian people in need. Won’t you help us give them hope?
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