April is National Volunteer Month and volunteering is a great way to give back to your community. Ending hunger in America depends on the volunteer work of literally millions of Americans who know that they can make a difference. In an average month, nearly two million volunteers across the Feeding America network provide more than 8.4 million volunteer hours at food programs. These volunteers are in every community of the United States. They are helping provide meals to the 46.5 million people served through Feeding America food banks. Jess Kurti is one of those volunteers.
Jess is a regular volunteer at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in Orlando. She developed her passion for fighting hunger by volunteering with a group of friends a couple of times a year. Then, while on a cross-country road trip, Jess saw many people struggling to live paycheck to paycheck. These experiences made it important for her to volunteer while traveling on vacation. Jess has now launched her own “Beast of Burden Challenge” to run a marathon in every state, volunteer at all 200 Feeding America member food banks and raise awareness of the issue of hunger.
“I want to show people what food banks are and how important they are. I want to bring awareness to the many programs that food banks have to get at the root cause of hunger,” Jess says. “The more I talk to people, the more I see the gap in awareness.”
After already volunteering at more than 40 food banks, Jess’s main motivation is to change people’s attitudes about hunger and increase compassion and kindness towards those facing hunger in America.
“I like the grassroots aspect of being a ground soldier. I found what I want to do.”
If you are interested in learning more about Jess’ progress, check out her Facebook page. There are so many people in America who are just like Jess. They want to contribute to their community in a meaningful way. If you already volunteer, thank you! If you want to begin volunteering, remember that you don’t have to volunteer at all 200 food banks to make a difference. Find your local food bank by visiting the Food Bank Locator and you can have an impact on the lives of the millions of families, children and seniors facing hunger.
*Aaron LaMonica-Weier is the manager of digitial engagement, cultivation at Feeding America.Tags: Hunger Heroes , Volunteer