The Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri: women building better communities.
By: Ellen Feldhausen, Harvesters’ Director of Communications
In our region, one in five children is in danger of going to bed hungry tonight. The Junior League of Kansas City is a partner with Harvesters—The Community Food Network to feed hungry children and teach them about good nutrition.
Harvesters is the Feeding America food bank serving 26 counties of northwestern Missouri and northeastern Kansas, including the Kansas City Metro. During the 2012-2013 fiscal year Harvesters’ network of more than 620 nonprofit agencies provided 37.3 million meals to hungry children, families and seniors. Food pantries, community kitchens and shelters in Harvesters’ network serve 66,000 people each week.
During September, which has been designated Hunger Action Month, Harvesters calls on everyone in our community to share our mission to feed hungry people.
There is more than enough food in America to feed every man, woman and child. In fact, our nation wastes an estimated 133 billion pounds of food each year. Yet in Harvesters’ service area, 378,780 people face hunger.
The need for food assistance remains high. Forty percent of the people Harvesters serves live in a household with at least one person working. Many of these households have several people working, and some work two or more low-wage jobs and still struggle to have enough food.
The uneven economic recovery, higher food and fuel costs and a changing job market are leaving families in even more dire circumstances as they fall further and further behind.
Hunger contributes to poor health and is often a factor in obesity, diabetes and heart disease. Impacts on children include low birth weights, more frequent illness and delayed cognitive development resulting in poor school performance.
During fiscal year 2012-2013, Harvesters also:
During the school year, Harvesters partners with the Junior League to offer its Healthy U program at University Academy. This includes holding innovative family-style nutrition education classes in which parents and students participate in Harvesters’ Kids in the Kitchen classes together. The Healthy U Teens program provides nutrition education to 80 seventh grade students, while the Nutrition Club works to teach healthy eating habits to middle school students.
Individuals, charities, civic organizations, businesses and the government all have a role to play in making sure every family in our region has enough to eat. During Hunger Action Month, Harvesters calls on our community to donate, volunteer, advocate and educate. Together we can solve hunger! Visit www.harvesters.org to learn more.