We are living in unique, and often uncertain times, and yet people from all walks of life have displayed some of the most incredible acts of service and kindness. More than 4.2 million people in California facing hunger and food insecurity, and more than 450,000 of those individuals live right here in Orange County. In partnership with got milk?, toma leche, and Feeding America, my daughter and I identified a local food drive we wanted to support as part of their new #FoodForThought campaign.
Post sponsored in collaboration with The California Milk Processor’s Board and The California Milk Advisory Board.
Hunger in California
Our current pandemic has exacerbated the hunger crisis, and food security is a challenge for families across all walks of life in California. The statistics are staggering:
- 1 in 9 people struggle with hunger
- 1 in 7 children struggle with hunger
In our local community of Orange County, more than 450,000 people experience food insecurity each month. Hunger does not discriminate and includes children, seniors who live on fixed incomes, people with disabilities and the working poor. COVID-related job losses have exacerbated the hunger crisis across the state.
I can’t even imagine having to choose between paying rent, purchasing much-needed medications, or buying food. And yet, this is the choice facing families across California every single day.
How You Can Help Fight Hunger in California
When the California Milk Processor’s Board (creators of got milk? and toma leche) and the California Milk Advisory Board asked us to help spread the word about their new #FoodForThought campaign, we knew exactly how we wanted to help our community. The need here in Orange County is great and visible as mall parking lots are being used for drive-through Food Banks.
To help alleviate Hunger In America right here in California, Got Milk and Real California Milk have partnered with Feeding America to help provide 1 million meals and 1 million servings of milk to communities in need throughout the state. The campaign was initiated on August 25, 2020 with a donation of 1 million servings of milk from California dairy farm families. Every dollar donated to Feeding America helps secure the equivalent of at least 10 meals. Milk is an important part of nourishing families here in California. I appreciate that the partner organizations have recognized the needs and disparities of our community and have acted in meaningful ways to fight hunger.
Through September 30, 2020, every act of kindness shared on Instagram, tagging @gotmilk and using the hashtag #FoodForThought will count towards their goal of donating 1 million meals. This campaign recognizes the value in everyday acts of kindness by individuals and groups serving their communities. I personally love the fact that the entire campaign is dedicated to showcasing acts of kindness in our local communities, inspiring families to think about others and give back to those in need.
My daughter initiated our act of kindness. She started by decorating a box to fill with shelf-stable food items. We then headed over to our local #FallFoodDrive to donate 2 full boxes of food!
At present, there are 18 Feeding America food banks that serve California, however, you can also search for a food drive in your local community. Our local food bank is housed at Saddleback Church which has become Orange County’s number one food pantry during the pandemic, having already distributed more than 2.4 million pounds of food.
10 Acts of Kindness
Local influencers across California are sharing their own acts of kindness, in support of the #FoodForThought campaign. Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Drop off milk and donuts to a local neighbor (Cupcakes and Cutlery)
- Put together a dog care package for a local neighbor (That’s It LA)
- Create a Back-to-School tray for a local mom (SoCal Field Trips)
- Create an “We’re All In It Together” tray for a neighbor (Living Mi Vida Loca)
- Prepare and serve up a bowl of Changua (Columbian Egg and Milk Soup) (Una Columbiana en California)
- Write a card to a friend or family member (This is Jessica Rose) and (Stuart Brazell)
- Surprise a local family with packed lunches that include milk (The Parentologist)
- Prepare and serve up mini cheesecakes for a friend or family member (La Cooquette)
- Create a sign to display in your window or outside that we are Stronger Together (Halez Garcia)
- Donate to your local food drive (Rockin’ Mama)
I hope the above ideas inspire your own acts of kindness.
$100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway
One reader will win a $100 gift card! To enter, simply complete the Rafflecopter form and leave me a comment with one act of kindness you’d like to complete if you win! Comments will close on September 20, 2020 at 11:59 pm PST.a Rafflecopter giveaway
US Residents only. Duplicates and comments not including the above information will be disqualified. Comments are moderated. If you don’t see your comment in a reasonable amount of time, send me an email. Bloggers and non-bloggers may enter. If you don’t want to leave your email address, please be sure to check back for my announcement on the winner. Please note that winners must respond within 48 hours of being announced/contacted or another winner will be drawn.