National Hunger Month and how your church can help

Food is something we all need. It nourishes us and brings us together over meals with friends and family. For many people though, food is a source of worry. If you don't know how you'll get your next meal, it can impact your entire life.

National Hunger Month in September provides a powerful reminder of the prevalence of food insecurity throughout the country. Fortunately, a little effort can make a world fo difference right in your own backyard.

For church communities, this is an important time to think about possibilities for making a positive impact in your community. There are many outreach efforts that can help reduce food insecurity issues in local neighborhoods. When you start planning today, you can make a big difference for families in need.

Ideas for how churches can help reduce hunger

Food drives and fundraisers: One of the most popular options for churches who want to impact local food insecurity is hosting a food drive. Invite members to bring in goods and set a goal of either number of items or weight. It's wonderful to watch pantry staples stack up each week before you make a bulk donation to a food shelf. Additionally, consider holding a fundraiser to go along with the drive. For example, host a fun walk/run where donors sponsor every lap around the church, or, plan a kiddie carnival where all proceeds benefit the drive.

Host a community meal: Extend an open invitation to members and nonmembers alike to visit for a no-cost, no-pressure church-sponsored meal. Create a committee to volunteer their time cooking and hosting the event and welcome families to enjoy food and fellowship. You could make it a weekend family event or special option on a day off of school (many kids lose access to food during school closures).

Plan a church directory event: Did you know Lifetouch will come to your church at no cost to create a free directory of members? What's more, the organization's Feed the Need program supports church communities by donating a fixed amount per photography session, so you can raise money to fight hunger while also updating your directory! In addition, Lifetouch offers $5 off photography discounts to your families in exchange for a donation to your outreach event.

Create a recipe book: A recipe book featuring nutritious, low-cost meals is a wonderful resource. Ask the church community to suggest recipes and use them to put together a recipe book and sell for a modest price, such as $5-$10. Then, donate the funds to a local food shelter. What's more, go beyond and get volunteers to go to a nearby nonprofit to cook one of the recipes for the people there. It's a heartwarming gesture that makes a big difference, and something your members won't soon forget.

Being food insecure is not something people openly talk about, but you'd probably be surprised by how many people you know that have been or currently are impacted by hunger. National Hunger Month is the perfect time to kick off efforts to help your local community and extend the goodwill of the church.