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Child Hunger Resources

LEARN

Child Hunger and Food Security impacts thousands of children in Michigan

Despite the efforts of many dedicated organizations and agencies, food insecurity remains a persistent problem in Michigan. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 1.3 million Michiganders faced food insecurity, and now, it is estimated that approximately 1.9 million individuals are food insecure in Michigan, 552,400 of which represent children. (Food Security Council, Initial Report: Covid-19 Findings and Recommendations, October 2020.)

What is Food Insecurity?

Food insecurity is a lack of a stable and reliable means for getting the food that people need. There are several reasons: access and availability of food, poverty, job instability, food shortages and waste, nutritional quality, discrimination, to name a few.

Read more:

Hunger in Michigan (Feeding America)

Facts about Child Hunger (Feeding America)

Food Insecurity and Covid-19 (Detroit Free Press)

Food Security Council 2020 Report

Facts about Childhood Hunger (No Kid Hungry)

Understanding Food Insecurity

What are the Impacts?

Children facing hunger may struggle in school and beyond. They are more likely to:

  • have less energy
  • be more easily distracted
  • repeat a grade
  • come to school late or miss school entirely
  • have more social or behavioral problems

Learn more:

Save the Children

Impact of Hunger (Feeding America)

5K for Child Hunger Relief

Pick Your Steps - Pick Your Time - Help Kids With Hunger

Walk, Run or Ride in a 5K (3.1 miles) anytime between June 3 and June 6. Thanks to our generous sponsors, 100% of your donation will go to the child hunger relief in Michigan.

Donations of $35 and above will receive a t-shirt in the mail. Children 12 and under can get a t-shirt with a $25 donation. Even the family dog can get in on the action! Registrations must be received by Friday, April 30, 2021 for guaranteed t-shirt delivery. 

Learn more about the 5K here.

5K Child Hunger Infographics

Download 10 Infographic sheets that you can post during the 5K or at other times to raise awareness for child hunger.

10 Infographics pdf

FEEDING CHILDREN

Many organizations across Michigan provide food and resources to children and their families. These organizations provide weekend food programs and other programs for children facing food insecurity.

Backpack programs, snack programs, food for  reduced-price summer camps, Meet Up and Eat Up summer food service program (among many other programs).

Area:

West Michigan and the Upper Peninsula

BackPack program - $100 provides food for one child for the entire school year, Meet Up and Eat Up (and many other programs).

Area:

Northeast Michigan

Backpack program with food for the weekends during the school year.

Area:

Throughout Michigan

Weekend food kits - $100 provides food for one child for the entire year.

Area:

Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Shiawassee, Livingston, Wayne Counties

BackPack program for the weekends. During the pandemic, they have held drive-thru pantries and Fresh Food distribution at schools.

Area:

Southern Michigan

Kids' Food Basket

Sack Suppers, Kids Helping Kids, Urban Growing, and more.

Area:

Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Ottawa & Allegan 

Food Gatherers

Meet Up and Eat Up, Healthy School Pantry Program (among other programs).

Area:

Washtenaw County

Gleaners

Kids Helping Kids, BackPack Program, Meet Up and East Up (among many other programs).

Area:

Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston, and Monroe Counties

South Lansing food bank

We Serve Kids Program - backpack weekend food kits (among many other programs).

Area:

Clinton, Eaton, Ingham, Clare, Isabella, Gratiot, Shiawassee Counties

TAKE ACTION

Use these ideas or your own for ways to alleviate child hunger. Many of these ideas are focused for the 5K for Child Hunger Relief as part of the Michigan Annual Conference in June 2021.

Simple Ideas

Keep it simple, yet meaningful, with these ideas!

Individual 5K Walk, Run, Bike

Provide information for people to do a 5K (or another distance) on their own or with their household.

Food Drive

Collect food to donate to local food pantries, schools, or other organizations. Steps for a Food Drive

Sponsor

For those who don't wish to participate in the walk/run/bike, offer sponsorships so they can donate money.

5K Information Sheet

Pledge forms for the 5K in color or black/white

Medium Ideas

Use one of these ideas or add your own medium size ideas to take action against child hunger.

Church-wide 5K Walk, Run, Bike

Provide information for people to do a 5K (or another distance) for your church. Provide sponsor sheets for those who want to walk or for those who want to support walkers. The walk could be done together (with appropriate covid-19 precautions) or on their own. Start at the church, a local park, or another place. You may want to use these Fact Sheets (available by April 15) along the way.

Connect

Learn about what programs are offered for child hunger at local schools and non-profits in your community. Ask questions about what is needed and how you can get involved.

Fundraisers

Bake Sale, Sub Sale, Pre-packaged food, etc. (Make sure what you are doing is pandemic compatible.) to raise money for child hunger. This may be a way for kids, tweens, or youth to get involved in creative ways.

Big Ideas

Use one of these ideas or add your own big-sized ideas to take action against child hunger.

Community-wide 5K Walk, Run, Bike

Engage the community in a 1K or 5K. Provide the sign up forms, sponsor sheets, map, and more. Invite your community to take a bite out of child hunger together.

Little Free Pantry

Build a Little Free Pantry for people to give or take food on your church property or another space in your community (with proper permission).

Community Garden

Plant a garden and donate the homegrown veggies to local organizations who can use it in their program or distribute the food.

ADVOCATE

Resources with ways to advocate for children and food security

Bread for the World

Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decision makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Bread provides ways to pray and take action, including letter writing campaigns to members of Congress. Learn more about Bread for the World and how you can get involved in ending hunger here.

Raise the Minimum Wage

Advocate for a living wage as a way to end child hunger. Use the form from Church & Society as a way to get started to contact Congress.

Creative 5K Ideas from 2020