The choices for charitable giving are endless. One thing we all have in common is food. We all need to eat. And for those who are not so fortunate to have all the food they need, there are many food-based charities you can support to help. Whether providing meals to home-bound people, school lunches, food in emergency situations, daily food bank help, and even livestock exchange, there are many ways to contribute to feeding our neighbors.
10 food-based charities for you to consider
Read through each food-based charity's missions and give to whatever speaks to your heart...and your stomach!
The mission statement of this global food based charity is to create a world "where every woman, man and child leads a healthy, fulfilling life of self-reliance and dignity." Their work spans 23 countries worldwide. This woman-centered charity gives women around the world opportunity, knowledge, and the power to provide for their families despite despite the challenges of gender inequality. Get involved with The Hunger Project to teach young girls about girl power early in life.
Respecting and caring for our seniors is sometimes left behind in our crazy world. Did you know that the average life expectancy in America is 79 years old? Financial hardships, illness, and getting older can make shopping for food difficult. Meals On Wheels not only delivers healthy hot food to warm the belly, but the social interaction can also warm the hearts of lonely seniors. Give a donation to honor the memory of a grandparent.
The great state of Texas has become one of the most popular places to live and raise a family. But as the cost of living rises everywhere, this Texas food based charity doesn't forget its people. According to their website, two-thirds of the people they serve say they had to choose between buying food and paying for housing in the past year. Eighty percent say they had to choose between food and medicine. The Central Texas Food Bank is there for the people whether it's an emergency situation of for their daily needs.
Started by a group of friends in California in 2012, this food based charity has grown by using social media for good. It's a simple concept of brown bagged lunches of simple childhood style meals. #HashtagLunchbag distributes the "lunchbags" to any hungry people they encounter in hard hit areas. The volunteers provide a much needed smile along with the bagged food. And the enclosed love note of encouragement inside the bags don't hurt either. Search the hashtag to see their impact as well as check out their website.
When it comes to food, you have to start from the ground up. The National Black Food and Justice Alliance represents hundreds of Black urban and rural farmers, organizers, and land stewards and works together and deepen the organizing, institution building and advocacy work protecting Black land and work towards food sovereignty. Donations go towards building visibility, creating and improving infrastructure for local, regional and national systems of distribution.
With core partners like the Discovery Channel and Walmart, No Kid Hungry brings food programs as well as awareness and education to the problem of childhood hunger in America. This food based charity provides school breakfasts and summer meal programs as well as education in setting up these programs through local grants.
The Feeding America network has 200 food banks and 60,ooo food pantries in every state, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.. Over 6 billion (BILLION!) meals were provided in 2020 alone. This is the largest domestic organization working its magic by connecting manufacturers, retailers, and farmers to use food before it goes to waste. They work to set up food programs, do food rescue, provide emergency disaster response, and research cures for hunger in the long term.
This global food based charity began in 1944 with the mission to help local communities become more self-sufficient and stable through farming and livestock. Help comes in the form of donating livestock such as cows, goats, and chickens, and funding farming programs. Through their program "Passing on the Gift," each participant passes on their animal's first female offspring. Another family in need is taught how to care for the livestock that produces milk and eggs.
Heifer International also runs faith-based programs to bring lessons of Love Thy Neighbor to reality for all religions.
Just shy of the age of one, Alexandra "Alex" Scott, was diagnosed with cancer. When she ws four, Alex and her older brother set up a simple lemonade stand to raise money for other kids fighting cancer like Alex. That lemonade stand turned out to be anything but simple! 1000's of lemonade stands popped up around the country to help Alex in her mission.
Alex lost her battle to cancer when she was just eight years old. But Alex's Lemonade Stand lives on. The mission has expanded into merchandise like Teddy Bears and coloring books and much more. These make meaningful gifts and keep Alex's spirit alive.
Edible Schoolyard was founded by chef, teacher, and author Alice Waters. In 1995, Alice created a program to create school based organic gardens and kitchens. As a trained Montessori method school teacher, Alice knew kids learn best when they feel valued and respected.
She wanted kids to have the knowledge of food and where it comes from. With that knowledge, kids would be empowered to make the best choices for themselves and educate their families. Edible Schoolyard has a ten lesson curriculum that can be implemented in schools around the country.