Hunger Action Month: Why Action Matters Most

September 14, 2023

September is recognized as Hunger Action Month, a time when individuals, organizations, and communities come together to raise awareness about hunger and take meaningful action to combat it. Before delving into the importance of taking action, it’s essential to understand the scale and complexity of the hunger problem. Hunger is not just about the absence of food; it’s also about the absence of nutritious, safe, and reliable access to food.

Hunger’s impact extends far beyond an empty stomach. It affects physical health, cognitive development, educational outcomes, and economic well-being. Hunger perpetuates a cycle of poverty, making it harder for individuals and families to escape its grasp. This is why addressing hunger is not only a moral imperative but also a crucial step towards achieving broader social and economic goals.

Remember, that food insecurity doesn’t just impact those that go hungry, it has ripple effects for our entire community, country, and world. Let’s look at how not addressing hunger can harm us all:

1.      Food insecurity is linked to various health problems, including an increased risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension. Malnutrition, inadequate access to nutritious foods, and stress associated with food insecurity contribute to these health issues. (The Journal of Nutrition). Malnutrition leads to increased healthcare costs due to necessitating expensive medical treatments and hospitalizations.

2.      Produce section at distributionMalnutrition affects workforce productivity, as individuals experiencing its effects may have lower energy levels, reduced cognitive function, and increased absenteeism, all of which can lead to decreased economic output and potential reliance on public assistance programs. Food-insecure individuals often experience reduced work productivity and increased absenteeism due to health problems associated with inadequate nutrition. This can impact a community’s economic stability and growth. (Journal of Health Economics)


         Children experiencing food insecurity may struggle in school due to hunger-related issues, leading to lower academic performance and compromised educational attainment (American Journal of Public Health) as well as missing important developmental markers and possible stunted growth. Children with empty bellies each day are much more likely to have behavioral issues in school. These issues and lower academic performance sets them on a treacherous course for the rest of their lives.

4.   Food insecurity can lead to stress, anxiety, and social isolation, affecting overall mental health and community cohesion. Stressors related to food insecurity can contribute to deteriorating social relationships. (Public Health Nutrition)

5.  High levels of food insecurity can undermine a community’s resilience in times of crisis, making it less prepared to withstand external shocks, such as economic downturns or natural disasters. (Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior).

6.  Food insecurity during childhood has been linked to a higher risk of involvement with the criminal justice system later in life. A study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that children who experienced food insecurity were more likely to engage in criminal behaviors as adolescents and young adults, leading to a higher likelihood of incarceration. This connection underscores the long-term societal consequences of childhood food insecurity and highlights the importance of addressing this issue to prevent adverse outcomes in adulthood.

As you can see, not dealing urgently with food insecurity is setting up our communities and their members up for failure. By continuing to apply “bandaid” approaches to systemic issues only helps in the very short term. Together we need to find solutions and each take responsibility for action.

Hunger Action Month: A Call to Action

Hunger Action Month, organized by Feeding America and other leading hunger relief organizations, serves as a reminder that we can all play a role in ending hunger. Throughout September, various events, campaigns, and initiatives are launched to raise awareness and encourage people to take action. Here’s why taking action during this month matters the most:

  1. Raising Awareness: Hunger Action Month shines a spotlight on the issue of hunger, helping to dispel myths and misconceptions about who experiences food insecurity. By engaging in conversations and sharing information, we can educate others about the severity of the problem.  What can YOU do? Share our social media posts, share this blog, engage in dialogue with others in your community!                                                                                                                            
  2. Community Involvement: Local communities are often at the forefront of hunger relief efforts. Hunger Action Month provides an opportunity for individuals and organizations to come together, volunteer at food pantries,  organize food drives, and support programs that benefit their neighbors in need. What can YOU do? Attend our Volunteer Open House on Tuesday, September 19th at 4pm; organize a food drive with your school, neighborhood association, or workplace; bring your left over home grown veggies to the pantry to donate.                                                                                                                   
  3. Advocacy and Policy Change: Hunger is not just a matter of charity; it’s a systemic issue that requires policy changes and advocacy efforts. During Hunger Action Month, advocates can raise their voices to urge lawmakers to implement policies that address the root causes of hunger, such as poverty and food insecurity. What can YOU do? Write your elected officials and ask them to support food security policy.                                                                                                            
  4. Donations and Fundraising: The Aurora Food Pantry relies on donations to provide food and assistance to those in need. Hunger Action Month encourages individuals and businesses to contribute financially, ensuring that resources are available to tackle hunger year-round. What can YOU do? Host a facebook fundraiser, donate the cost of an extra meal to the pantry, or encourage your church, workplace, or another social group to organize a fund drive.                                                                                                                                        
  5. Long-Term Impact: While Hunger Action Month serves as a focal point for raising awareness and taking action, the fight against hunger requires sustained effort. Engaging in activities and initiatives during this month can inspire people to remain committed to the cause throughout the year. What can YOU do? Stay engaged all year round! Make sure you are on our email list and stay informed about hunger is impacting your community. Know that you have great power to bring awareness to your friends, family, colleagues, and others. Be a anti-hunger warrior with us!

Hunger is a global crisis that demands our attention, compassion, and action. Thank you for uniting  in the fight against this pervasive issue. By raising awareness, advocating for policy changes, volunteering, and supporting hunger relief programs, we can make a meaningful difference in the lives of those affected by food insecurity.

As we participate in Hunger Action Month, let us remember that our actions, both big and small, can have a profound impact on the lives of those struggling with hunger. Together, we can work towards a world where no one goes to bed hungry, where nutritious food is a basic human right, and where hunger is but a distant memory. It is through our collective efforts and unwavering commitment that we can turn the tide on hunger and create a brighter future for all.


In gratitude,


Shannon Cameron, Executive Director