ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) — Today is Hunger Action Day, a day when the Southern Tier comes together to raise awareness about the pressing issue of food insecurity.

September 15th marks a day when communities across the region unite to combat hunger and support local organizations like the Food Bank of the Southern Tier to help feed those in need.

Food Insecurity: A Growing Challenge

In recent years, food insecurity has been a growing concern in the Southern Tier. The economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with longstanding issues such as poverty and unemployment, has left many families and individuals struggling to put food on the table. According to Josh Kramer, Director of Communications at the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, 1 in 8 people lives with food insecurity; 1 in 6 children are at risk of hunger.

Hunger Action Day Activities

Hunger Action Day is a day of awareness and action, and this year’s events promise to be both impactful and inspiring. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier, in collaboration with local partners, has organized a series of activities to engage the community and make a difference:

  1. Volunteer Opportunities: The Food Bank welcomes volunteers to help sort, pack, and distribute food to those in need. Volunteering is a great way for individuals and groups to make a direct impact.
  2. Fundraising Campaigns: Many individuals and organizations are running fundraising campaigns to support the Food Bank’s mission. Every dollar donated helps provide meals to those facing hunger.
  3. Awareness Campaigns: Social media campaigns, to raise awareness about the root causes of food insecurity and the importance of ongoing support.
  4. Advocating for Food Security: You can advocate with your elected officials for food security including the Farm Bill, WIC, and SNAP. The Food Bank of the Southern Tier offers Community Advocate Training, to assist people with lived experience to tell their stories.

A Call to Action

Hunger Action Day serves as a stark reminder that food insecurity is a persistent problem in the Southern Tier of New York. It is a call to action for individuals, businesses, and communities to come together, not just on this day, but every day, to address the root causes of hunger and provide essential support to those in need.

For Hunger Action Month this September, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier announced they will join Feeding America and other member food banks to inspire conversation and drive passion for the issue of hunger.

September marks the 16th year Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization with a nationwide network of 200 food banks, including the Food Bank of the Southern Tier, and 60,000 partner food pantries and meal programs, has organized the annual call to action.

“Food has a tremendous impact on people’s lives. We have all experienced firsthand how a meal goes beyond solely nourishing our bodies,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “Access to nutritious food is essential for each of us to reach our full potential and reminds us that we can all help to create positive change in our communities to ensure that no one goes hungry in America. Now is the time for us to come together to elevate the voices of people who experience food insecurity and inspire everyone to join the movement to end hunger.”