I had the privilege of participating in my first Feeding America Day of Impact this month. Each year, the Feeding America National Office team volunteers at local food pantries and agencies and works closely with those dedicated to helping others. Many of us volunteered at Pacific Garden Mission, a rescue mission and homeless shelter in the South Loop of Chicago. It was an incredible opportunity to work with an organization that does so much to help its community. In addition to offering shelter to men, women and children, the mission provides meals, clothing and medical services through its clinic. All of these services come together in one place, with each piece playing an important role in helping individuals get back on their feet.
At Feeding America, we are focused on responding to the hunger crisis in our country by helping people find food. But we know that if we are to find sustainable solutions we must also address the root causes of hunger. We have found that when families are food insecure, they often are struggling in other ways. Family members in food insecure households may be out of work, uninsured or having a hard time paying their rent. Volunteering at Pacific Garden Mission reminded me of how honored I am to work for an organization that recognizes how interconnected these struggles can be and have invested in initiatives to address these underlying contributors of hunger. Feeding America is partnering with advocacy groups and other charitable partners to develop comprehensive and holistic solutions that help meet families’ needs.
It was a pleasure to spend time at Pacific Garden Mission and to learn more about the impact their work has on the lives of those in the Chicago area. It was also a great reminder that taking the time out of our busy lives to do something, whether it be folding sheets and towels, serving warm meals or donating food, can make a real and significant difference.
*Katie Golde is a philanthropy writer at Feeding America. Find out how you can get involved in volunteering in your local community.
Fighting Hunger in Action