Last week I was asked to participate in a Shopper Insight Study with Collective Bias for the new #TysonBreakfast Bread Bowls available at my local Sam's Club. (and others of course - check the list here) The second part of this campaign however is one that I will not soon forget. I have loved Tyson for years, but learning about the Tyson KNOW Hunger campaign has me loving (and respecting) them on a whole new level.
Even with knowing the economy in the state that it is in, some of these numbers dumbfounded me.
- More than 25 million Americans—including 9 million children and nearly 3 million seniors—receive emergency food assistance each year from the Feeding America Network.
- About 70% of the clients seeking emergency food assistance are living below the federal poverty line, and nearly 40% have at least one adult working in their household.
- 30-40% of the clients served report having to make choices between paying their rent/utilities/heat/medical bills... or eating.
- Nearly one in four (24%) Americans worries about not having enough money to put food on the table at some point in the next year.
Simply reading through this report put me in tears. Growing up in an affluent family in Florida made me very naive to how things really are. Even our very own home state is suffering.
The numbers nationwide are staggering and it is hard for me to even imagine this is really happening - IN AMERICA. I am baffled that it isnt on the news more - I think people are "blissfully unaware" in most cases. But it just adds to why I respect when huge organizations like Tyson join together to do their part in helping out. I've always had a soft spot for those less fortunate, so I was happy to do even what little I did to help someone in need. Just imagine if we ALL did that.
I have said for months that I wanted to take the Tween to our local Loaves & Fishes Soup Kitchen to volunteer. I think it is an incredible learning experience for an overly spoiled Tween to get a look at just how fortunate she is when I am "ruining her life" by taking her cell phone away. Sadly, I have kept her very sheltered from some of the harsh realities of the real World. Our church goes on Tuesday nights to volunteer for the dinner service, and sadly I have conference calls every Tuesday night so I have been unable to go... that is until now.
As part of my mission for the Tyson KNOW Hunger campaign I was asked to buy an extra box of the #TysonBreakfast Bread Bowls to share with someone less fortunate who might KNOW hunger in a way that I pray I never will. This seemed like the perfect opportunity - especially since I just wrapped my Conference Call Series - to take a Tuesday night to volunteer at Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen.
We have begun collecting items to take when we go along with the Tyson Bread Bowls and have had many talks about hunger and people who are less fortunate and choices people make in life and such. Its been quite an experience already and we haven't even gone. I even overheard the Tween telling her friend on the phone that she wasnt going to waste food in the lunchroom anymore because she realized she was taking it for granted. Talk about a Proud Mommy Moment.
You can see more about Tyson Foods Hunger Relief and see how you can get involved by checking out http://www.tysonhungerrelief.com/, following them on Twitter, Liking their Facebook Page, or simply by volunteering at your local homeless food shelter. And get your children involved - it will not only be a great experience for them, but a very humbling experience for you as well.
Disclaimer: This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias. #CBias All opinions are 100% my own.