1 in every 5 families in our region suffers from food insecurity. They struggle with having enough food for their families and they also struggle with the quality of that food. Fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful from the many farms around Butte County, but not every family can afford them. September is Hunger Action Month, and while the month is almost over, it's not too late to make a difference. There are thousands of people who stand up to fight hunger this month by supporting their local food banks across the nation.
If you have thought about helping before, but never find the time, make time today. If you already volunteer for the food bank, consider sharing your experience with a friend who might want to come along with you and help. The solution to hunger in America lies in our own hands. It's about community involvement, so take action!
College Students at Risk of Food Insecurity
This may come as a surprise,but according to the California Budget & Policy Center, approximately 40% of college students experience food insecurity. College students are not usually the first group we think of when we are talking about hunger in America, however the steady increase in housing costs has outpaced increases in student aid by a large margin over the last 10 years. This puts pressure on students who have limited financial means to make compromises on both food and housing decisions. The California Budget & Policy Center reports that "Food and housing insecurity among college students are associated with poor health and mental health symptoms such as depression and anxiety."
To help address the hunger issue on college campuses, each of the 23 California State Universities has set up a student food pantry or food distribution program on campus. Here in Chico, Butte CAA supports the Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry at Chico State, through a partnership with our North State Food Bank. This collaborative effort helped feed 4,000 students over the last school year.
“The Chico State Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry is proud to be a member of the North State Food Bank. The whole North State Food Bank staff is dedicated to our success and through their ongoing support we have successfully distributed food to thousands of our students who experience food insecurity.”
--Joe Picard, Chico State Basic Needs Project, Hungry Wildcat Food Pantry
What Action Can You Take in Your Community?
Every month the North State Food Bank serves an average of 45,000 hungry residents in the six-county region. We partner with great volunteers and food providers to make this happen, but your financial donations also make a huge impact. Our annual goal is $150,000 of community support. Together we can take care of our community and make sure nobody goes hungry.
The strength of the Food Bank is in its many volunteers! We have a ton of ways you can help be part of the solution including:
- Warehouse work; from light sorting and shelving of product to heavy lifting
- Organizing and sorting through boxes of food
- Our seasonal produce giveaways – calendar and locations can be found on our website.
We will accommodate our volunteers comfort level. Call us at 530-712-2600, Option 3 to see how you can help.
Hold a Food Drive!
Partner with the North State Food Bank to hold a food drive at your business or event. We can help you with organization and promotion and it's a great way for a local business to get involved in the community and give back! Call us at 530-712-2600, Option 3 to discuss the possibilities.
Since 1967, the Community Action Agency of Butte County has been serving the needs of the region in alignment with the charter of the National Community Action Agencies overarching goal: To alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty by whatever means necessary in your community. As Butte County CAA, we provide hope to people struggling with poverty to become more self-sustaining by meeting tangible needs in the areas of energy savings, affordable food, and housing. Connect with us to find out how you can get involved.