Getting the word out about hunger in Ventura County requires constant effort, according to FOOD Share President and CEO Bonnie Weigel, who said she is always looking for opportunities to raise awareness. One of those opportunities starts today. Wal-Mart’s “Fighting Hunger Together” campaign is a Facebook contest that allows people to vote for a food bank of their choice. There are 122 organizations participating, and the 40 food banks with the most votes will win $45,000 each.
“Hunger is relevant, and it’s increased, and we could use the money,” Weigel said.
Unemployment is the biggest indicator of hunger, according to Feed America, a national food bank network. California had a 9.6 percent unemployment rate in February, which tied the state with Nevada and Mississippi for the highest in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. FOOD Share provides food to more than 74,500 local people each month through more than 150 pantries and distribution programs. Some of these are the Senior Share Program, which provides supplemental nutrition to nearly 2,000 low-income seniors; home-delivered meals; supplemental groceries through Oxnard and Ventura senior nutrition programs; and children’s farmers markets.
People may vote for FOOD Share once a day during April at apps.facebook.com/walmartlocal/?applet=hunger&organization=66. Weigel said a $45,000 prize could go a long way, especially in the summer, when thousands of children in Ventura County will lose the supplemental free meals that schools provide during the week. “For every $1 we receive, we are able to provide $5 worth of food to our hungry friends, so imagine how far $45,000 will go,” she said.
For information about FOOD Share, call 983-7100 or visit http://www.foodshare.com.
via Ventura County Food Share
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