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September is Hunger Action Month

Taking action against hunger in our community is more vital now than ever. Join us in addressing the root causes of hunger and work toward a community that keeps each other fed.

Food banks are in trouble and Just Food is no exception. A survey done by The Urban Institute says that food insecurity in June and July of this year have reached the same levels as March and April in 2020, after falling acutely in 2021.


On average, Just Food served 867 shoppers each day the pantry was open in the month of August. Additionally, we supplied our partner pantries with 27,221 pounds of food in August. A 64% increase from August 2021.


“There was a big charitable response at the beginning. There was a very robust government response as well,” said Elaine Waxman, an expert on food insecurity and federal nutrition programs at the Urban Institute in Washington. But the end of enhanced unemployment, stimulus checks and monthly child tax credit payments, combined with inflation, means that problems are starting to crop up again. This time donations are down just as the need is rising again. “We’re good in a crisis. We rise to the occasion,” Ms. Waxman said. “But we don’t know what to do if the crisis persists.” (source: The New York Times)


“You’re in the middle of a battle, and people are leaving the field,” Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, the chief executive of Feeding America


Feeding America's network includes over 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries, including Just Food. Between February and May of this year:

  • 73% of Feeding America's food banks said food donations were down

  • 94% saying cost of food purchased had increased

  • 89% said they were paying more for transportation to acquire or deliver food.

  • In 2021, Feeding America network received 1.14 billion pounds of food from federal commodity programs, compared to 2.46 billion pounds from 2021

TAKE ACTION AGAINST HUNGER:

During the month of September we are fighting back against hunger. We commemorate Hunger Action Month by spreading the word about hunger in our community, volunteering, advocating, donating and helping raise awareness about hunger.


Donate

Just Food relies on community support to do what we do. Our pantry is stocked by individual donors, food recovery from local grocery stores, and purchases made from donations by our community supporters. You can donate unopened food product and basic needs Monday-Friday 9am-3pm at our location at 1000 E. 11th Street. Additionally, you can drop off donations at one our our community barrels in Lawrence for your convenience:

  • Lawrence Public Library

  • La Prima Tazza

  • The Merc

  • Hillcrest Styling Center

  • Lawrence Beer Co.

  • J. Wilsons

  • Lawrence Humane Society

  • Starbucks on 23rd

  • River Rat Skate and Print

  • Uplift Coffee

For every $1 donated to Just Food, can provide 3 meals for the Douglas County community. If you are able, consider becoming a monthly donor to ensure families are getting fed consistently. No donation is too small. You can make your gift here.


Advocate

The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP)

Write to your lawmakers today and tell them to provide the full authorized amount of $100 million for the program. The storage and distribution funding helps food banks offset rising costs and get food to the people who need it!


Support the Food Donation Improvement Act

The Food Donation Improvement Act will help to clarify some of the ambiguous terms in the Emerson Act, promote awareness of the Act, and extend liability protection to support modern food donation. This bill would:

  • Improve federal oversight of liability protections for food donation under the Emerson Act by delegating authority of the Act to the U.S. Department of Agriculture and requiring USDA to write regulations explaining the safety and labeling requirements that must be met to maintain protection under the Act;

  • Expand liability protections to food donations to include not only food given for free to the end recipient but also food sold at a reduced price to cover the cost of handling the products;

  • Expand liability protections to include not only donations made via a nonprofit intermediary, but also donations made by a retail grocer, wholesaler, agricultural producer, restaurant, caterer, school food authority, and institution of higher education that donate food directly to individuals.

Action

We always have room for more volunteers! Whether you are newly retired, just looking to give back, or have service hours to fulfill, you can give your time to fighting hunger in Douglas County. By volunteering, you help our operations run smoothly for our clients so that they can take home the food that they need every day. We have opportunities for all types of people and skill levels. Learn more or sign up for an orientation today!

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