Feeding America network deemed September as Hunger Action Month® (HAM) in an effort to mobilize the public to take action on the issue of hunger nationally.
Locally, Food Pantry Network – HOI and Partnership for a Healthy Community HEAL Priority action team work together to coordinate events, print media, and online media all pointed at education about the local needs and how best to support them.
“Recognizing that hunger and food security is an issue locally is an important piece of our Hunger Action Month Campaign work,” explained Rebecca Crumrine, University of Illinois Extension SNAP-Ed program coordinator and Food Pantry Network – HOI organizer.
Three individual Tri-County Hunger Walks will be held in Peoria, Tazewell, and Woodford counties on the same day and time, Friday, Sept. 23, 6 to 7 p.m.
The goal is to raise awareness and support the hunger and health of our neighbors by donating healthy, shelf-stable food options to local pantries. For the inaugural Tri-County Hunger Walk, we hope to have the community rally around this need and enjoy time with friends and family taking some steps to end hunger.
Register online, find the flyer, and shopping list for items to donate, and more information at go.illinois.edu/walk2022.
Walkers can attend the location of their choice:
Mineral Springs Park Lagoon, Pekin – Tazewell County
Forest Park Nature Center, Peoria Heights – Peoria County
Black Partridge Park, Metamora – Woodford County
Walk entry fee: One healthy-shelf stable food item per walker. Donations will go to local pantries.
Other ways to take action during Hunger Action Month are to connect with your local food pantry and find out how you can get involved, as well as wear orange on September 23 in support of Hunger Action Day. Throughout the month it is encouraged to take photos of how you are showing your support, send your pictures to Shanita Wallace, Health Educator at Tazewell County Health Department and Food Pantry Network – HOI organizer, by email email@example.com, and share online using the hashtag #HungerActionMonth.
“Over 37,000 people in our tri-county area lack access to enough nutritious food for an active, healthy life,” noted Shanita Wallace. “Traditional food pantries, school pantry programs, mobile food pantry programs, backpack programs, and hot meal programs are some examples of ways we try to get food to people who need it. The three most requested items from families are dairy products, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins. Contact your local pantry to find out their most needed items.”
The mission of the Food Pantry Network – HOI is to support, connect, and provide resources to those working within the charitable food system. This network of community partners strives to help alleviate hunger and build a healthier community. If you are a pantry or food bank in our area, please join us online at facebook.com/groups/foodpantrynetworkhoi or reach out to Rebecca Crumrine, firstname.lastname@example.org, to be added to the group’s email list.