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The Good Long Road | Commentary by Jennifer Fischer
| Saturday, Aug 31, 2013

JenniferFischerI can’t believe the ABCs of the Santa Clarita Valley are almost at an end – just Y and Z remain. Any guesses on what they’ll be? You’ll have to wait until next Saturday to see. I’m pausing this week to share a special challenge with you.

With August drawing to a close and September just a day away (or already here, depending on when you’re reading), I had to take this moment to spread the word that September is Hunger Action Month.

If you’ve read my commentaries consistently, you’ve probably noticed that hunger is something I’ve discussed before. Or if you read my blog, The Good Long Road, you know this, as well. Last year I turned my blog “orange” for Hunger Action Month and shared many posts to raise awareness about hunger in the United States, including in our local community, and about ways individuals, families and kids could get involved during Hunger Action Month.

MomsFightingHungerThis September I’ll be doing the same thing and have decided that one part of my awareness and fundraising will occur in the form of a coffee can challenge, partially inspired by my younger self.

Last year, Chalice Press published the book, “It’s Not All About You: Young Adults Seeking Justice,” edited by Julie Richardson Brown and Courtney Richards. I contributed a chapter, which opened with a simple question: “Can an empty coffee can change the world?” I recount a story from my childhood in which I dumped the coffee grounds from a coffee can all over the kitchen floor so I could take the now-empty coffee can door-to-door in my neighborhood to collect money for children who were starving, halfway around the world.

MomsFightingHungerinAction

Click images to enlarge

This time, I am using a coffee can that has long been empty of coffee grounds, which I actually put in my coffee maker. What I’ve decided to do for the month of September is take an empty coffee can with me everywhere I go and put all of my spare change in it throughout the month. The can is wrapped in paper that has the “No Kid Hungry” logo on it.

Perhaps as I do this (and maybe look a tad odd), others will ask about the can or notice it and decide to add some of their spare change, as well. It will be interesting for me to see how much I can raise with simply spare change in just one month – 30 days.

There’s certainly a need. Tuesday, No Kid Hungry released a report from a survey they conducted of 1,000 teachers and principals. Seventy-three percent of teachers reported they had taught students who routinely came to school hungry, as did 87 percent of principals.

HungryCaterpillarFoodHuntMany found the report shocking. As someone who has been involved in education through after-school programs for many years, I did not.

The coffee can challenge will be just one of the many things I plan to do in September to raise awareness and funds. I hope you’ll be inspired to do something, too. (Note: It doesn’t have to be monetary. Sharing a Facebook status or Tweeting a fact that raises awareness makes a big difference.)

benjimommyorangeIf you check out my blog in September, look for posts with ideas and calls to action around hunger, and remember that right here in the Santa Clarita Valley there are families and individuals in need, and there are many ways to help them, particularly through Help the Children or the Santa Clarita Valley Food Pantry.

And if you happen to see me around town with my coffee can, I hope you’ll be able to spare some change. Who knows? Maybe I’ll decide to make this an ongoing thing and just select a different cause each month. I’m not sure where this particularly coffee can challenge will lead me. I only know the coffee-can experience from my childhood demonstrated a desire that has stuck – a desire always to help others – and a belief that stuck, too: a belief that it is possible to end hunger.

I’d love for you to pop over to The Good Long Road on Facebook and share your thoughts and ideas related to Hunger Action Month. Go Orange!

 

Jennifer Fischer is co-founder of the SCV Film Festival, a mom of two, an independent filmmaker and owner of Think Ten Media Group, whose Generation Arts division offers programs for SCV youth. She writes about her parenting journey on her blog, The Good Long Road. Her commentary is published Saturdays on SCVNews.com.

 

fall bucket list goes orange

 

 

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1 Comment

  1. Sharon Blair Scott says:

    I would add #GrandmothersFightHunger as I will be one in March, 2013

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