YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The fight against hunger is happening across the country. During the month of September, Ohioans are being urged to get involved and make a difference as part of Hunger Action Month.
Millions of Americans wake up everyday not knowing when their next meal will be, and it’s the same for thousands of people in the Mahoning Valley.
Throughout the month of September, the Ohio Association of Foodbanks is challenging Ohioans to join the fight against hunger.
This is the ninth year for Hunger Action Month, and this year’s focus is hunger and the effects it has on health, especially for children. On an empty stomach, the organization says kids have a much more difficult time focusing and learning in school.
About one in four kids in Ohio live in a home that’s considered “food insecure,” meaning that they don’t have reliable access to a sufficient amount of nutritious food.
The state of Ohio is actually ranked sixth highest for food insecurity across the US.
Lisa Hamler-Fugitt, from the Ohio Association of Foodbanks, said there is a program in the state called the SNAP program that helps to ensure kids have nutritious meals at school. She also feels more can be done to help curb hunger in Ohio and improve school meal programs.
She says so far, Gov. John Kasich’s Office has supported innovative nutrition programs to help kids who need it.
“Children who live in areas that are isolated economically and geographically, we bring them the governor’s Summer Feeding Program with a weekend backpack, innovative home-delivered program and fresh farmer’s market,” she said.
Hamler-Fugitt says there’s still much more that can be done.
If you want to get involved in the fight against hunger, she says think and act locally — advocate, raise awareness and volunteer, even host a food drive.