by Fiona Chan |
For the entire month of September we are doubling our impact with each web sale #D2UPFBNW. For each item purchased on our site, FBNW will give 2 bags of groceries to children in the U.S. suffering from food insecurity. If you made a purchase with us in September, please post and #D2UPFBNW and let everyone know that you helped impact twice as many children!
NOW BACK TO OUR BLOG...
We’ve all felt hungry before, an uncomfortable sensation in your belly, a feeling of weakness, and sometimes even lightheadedness. But how many of us have experienced true hunger? The type of hunger where there is no clear end in sight, a hunger that will literally eat away at you.
There are plenty of material things in life that we can complain about not having enough of, but there is one thing that we as humans all NEED, that being food. Most of us are fortunate enough to be able to access food whenever we please but the rest of us, 1 in 8 Americans, struggle with hunger. As adults we can manage the stress of hunger much better than children, who on the other hand, are more vulnerable to its effects.
1 in 6 children in America struggle with hunger. This could be your child’s classmate, your colleague’s child, a child in your neighborhood - the face of hunger can appear in many forms. Many families struggle privately and do what they can to feed their child on a regular basis. Children from these households rely heavily on school subsidized breakfast and lunch programs, but on nights, weekends, and holidays, this all goes away. So what happens when these children go hungry?
A study conducted by the American Psychological Association (APA) found that children from food insecure households often feel stigmatized, isolated, ashamed, or embarrassed by their situation. The APA states that “hungry children exhibited 7 to 12 times as many symptoms of conduct disorder such as fighting, blaming others for problems, having trouble with a teacher, not listening to rules, and stealing” compared to their peers. This type of behavior is driven by hunger and not by their upbringing; the good news is that we can help fix it!
Our team interacts with children from food insecure households monthly at our FBNW Food Drops. These children are often too young to realize their situation and their families do the best they can to shelter them from their harsh reality. Our goal is to not only feed, but to provide mentorship to the children at our monthly events. Feeding their bellies is just part of the program, the second part is gaging their emotional well-being and giving them encouragement to believe that they can accomplish their goals. The early developmental years are the most important in a child’s life and if we as a company can spend one day a month to impact them positively in some way, then our mission is fulfilled.
In support of Feeding America’s Hunger Action Month, we created the FBNW #DayWithoutFood to kick off the month. On the first Friday of September, we ask participants to go 24 hours without food to get a glimpse of the day in the life of a child from a food insecure household. For each participant who attempts to go without food and posts the #DayWithoutFood symbol on social media, FBNW will give a bag of groceries to a child in need in the U.S. in their honor.
Last year Patricc and myself along with our interns attempted to go 24 hours without food. The two of us succeeded but not gracefully by any means. What we found most interesting was the fact that it was the idea of not being able to eat that made us hungry. Patricc and I are used to skipping meals throughout the day depending on how nose deep we are into our work. On those days, we don’t even think about food and the symptoms of hunger don’t appear. We decided to hold a Food Drop on the same day as our first #DayWithoutFood, hoping that by staying busy we won’t even have time to think about food - we were dead wrong.
I can tell you personally that day felt like the longest day that I have ever lived. Being deprived of food made me feel unhappy, and my mind was working on a timer counting down the hours till I could get food into my system. I was irritable, exhausted physically and mentally, so I had to work hard to keep my emotions in check and to stay positive. The mind is a powerful thing and on that day it played against me. As the day progressed my body began to feel sluggish, thoughts were not processing as quickly, and my desire to socialize decreased. I could only imagine how difficult it would be for a child to process all these emotions without lashing out.
The lesson was a hard one but a very valuable one which I hope you will partake in this year. We had the luxury of knowing that we were able to eat once the 24 hours passed - what we learned was that the mental distress of not knowing when your next meal will be is the real agony.
If you are interested in joining us for our second annual #DayWithoutFood on September 7, 2018, please view more information on how to make your efforts count on our blog.
Direct link to #DayWithoutFood details: https://www.fbnw.us/blogs/news/daywithoutfood-dwf18