September is Hunger Action Month! This special time of the year was created to motivate people to take action and raise awareness of the immense problem of hunger in America.

There’s never been a more important time to stand up against hunger. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended so much of daily life—jobs, schools, celebrations, and more. Many people are facing a tragic new reality: worrying about how they will feed their families.

Thankfully, all of us—both companies and individuals dedicated to giving back—can take action to fight hunger. We can learn how hunger is affecting our nation. And we can raise our voices on behalf of struggling families to help them access healthy meals.

Hunger Action Month is the perfect time to educate ourselves and advocate for our neighbors in need. It not only lifts up our communities, but also inspires us to stay strong as the pandemic continues. Keep reading to learn how you can join in.

The Latest Research on Hunger in America

Understanding how hunger is impacting our nation is the first step toward addressing hunger and helping our neighborhoods flourish.

New research from the USDA shows that an estimated 10.5% of U.S. households faced hunger in 2019. These figures, collected before the global pandemic hit, were part of a larger trend: hunger rates had been slightly decreasing.

However, when COVID-19 began to spread, everything changed. The pandemic is expected to not only eliminate all of the recent progress made against hunger in America, but also cause hunger to skyrocket beyond where it was during the Great Recession.

According to research done by Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger relief organization, more than 54 million people may face hunger in 2020. Stories abound of the challenges families are facing due to COVID-19. Without work, many people are spending their days trying to put food on the table. Some parents are traveling from one food distribution to another, day after day, trying to access meals for their kids and outrun hunger.

How Elara Brands Fights Hunger

We are surrounded by many needs, but there’s so much we—individuals and companies alike—can do to stand up for our hungry neighbors. With a commitment to serving struggling communities, we can make a big difference in our world.

When Elara Brands was established, the company embedded a commitment to fighting hunger into its business model. For each case of an Elara product purchased, the company donates a meal to a local food bank through Elara’s One Case • One Meal® giving program.

Through its meal giving partnership with Feeding America, Elara has helped provide more than 4 million meals to people struggling with hunger in America.

How You Can Join Hunger Action Month

Elara Brands is encouraging all companies that purchase our products—or that simply want to give back during this challenging time—to consider participating in Hunger Action Month. It’s never too late to join the anti-hunger movement, and now is the perfect time. Here are some easy ways to get involved:

  • Donate to your local food bank. In honor of Hunger Action Month, make a charitable gift to your local Feeding America food bank and tell your employees about it. You can also commit to match your employees’ donations to the food bank. When you tell your staff about your charitable commitment, explain why and how your company is fighting hunger during the pandemic.
  • Have a company volunteering day. Encourage your employees to volunteer with your local food bank or another anti-hunger organization. After they volunteer, ask them to share what the experience meant to them and pass along these impactful stories with their permission. Some nonprofits are offering remote volunteering opportunities during the pandemic, making it easy to donate your time while also following public health guidelines.
  • Wear orange. Orange is the official color of Hunger Action Month. Choose one day during September to encourage your employees to wear orange clothing and other creative accessories. Pick a day when you have an all-company video meeting so people can show off their orange garb. You can also ask your employees to send photos so you can share everyone’s orange outfits.
  • Share your commitment on social media. Post about your dedication to helping hungry families on social media and use #HungerActionMonth. Turn parts of your social profile orange to raise awareness of hunger, such as uploading an orange banner image that mentions Hunger Action Month. You can also change your profile picture to an image of you or a collage of your employees in their orange anti-hunger outfits with an explanatory caption, further demonstrating your dedication to hungry families.

Showing your support for Hunger Action Month will raise awareness of hunger and of your company’s commitment to helping people in need. When your employees and customers see how much you care, they’ll be more proud than ever to be connected to your company. Some may even take additional actions on their own to fight hunger.

Everyone Can Extend a Helping Hand

The pandemic has heightened hunger in America. Millions of Americans are facing worry, fear, and uncertainty as they try to make ends meet. Seemingly endless lines of cars waiting to receive meals from food banks are a testament to the precarity that our neighbors are facing.

The good news is that we can all help our communities reach for a brighter tomorrow. We can keep ourselves informed about hunger in America, and during September, we can join in Hunger Action Month. By simply donating, volunteering, wearing orange, or posting on social media, we can move even closer to the day when no one struggles with hunger in America.