|Doing Good Together Newsletter|
Photo: The Hunger Site
Jenny Friedman, Executive Director
Make a Difference... Organize your church, civic organization, Scout troop, neighborhood or school to conduct a food drive. Then take your collection to a local food bank. Or, ask your local grocery store to let your family spend a Saturday afternoon sponsoring a food drive. Place a bin in the store and ask each shopper to buy an extra item to donate. Volunteer to empty the bin and deliver the donations to the food bank. If you want an ongoing commitment, read the story below about how one family found a fun and kid-friendly way to make a true difference.
Talk About It ... We have a lot of myths about hunger. Learn the facts www.worldhunger.org, then start a conversation with your children in the grocery store as you pick up items for your local food shelf or begin a collection in your community.
Learn About It ... For children in middle and high school, a must-read is Soul Moon Soup by Lindsay Lee Johnson. It is the story of Phoebe Rose, who becomes homeless, along with her mother, after her father leaves. "In these pages I hope readers find the courage to connect with people around them who may need something they can give," says the author. For more books on homelessness and hunger, visit the resources page of our website.
Photo: Soul Moon Soup
"Hunger will be eliminated when people come together to help each other. People need to take an active role in changing politics and society, but first, they need to change themselves and their own hearts."
Tony P. Hall, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Agencies for Food and Agriculture
You can't blame twins Casey and Rachel Christensen for the ruckus that pervades their Farmington, Minn., home the first Wednesday of every month. These 5- year-olds have a serious mission. First thing, they look out the door to see which houses on their block have put out bags of groceries. The children and their mom, Amee, then drive through the neighborhood to pick up the donations for their local food shelf. The twins are especially thrilled when they spot a bag from a neighbor who has never donated before, or when someone contributes large, bulk-size items.
The family is part of a new initiative in Dakota County called Project FoodStock, which seeks to keep county food shelves well stocked. The project was started by Amee, her husband, Jeff, and her sister and brother-in- law, Liz and Chad Caswell, less than a year ago. Already it has volunteers like the Christensens who collect from more than a dozen neighborhoods.
Photo: Twins Casey and Rachel Christensen
Jenny Friedman, Executive Director of Doing Good Together, presented a workshop called Supporting Families in Serving Others: Building an Effective Family Volunteer Program at the Minnesota Conference on Volunteerism this month. She spoke to volunteer coordinators about how to recruit, train and welcome families as volunteers. If you work for an agency that would like to begin a family volunteer program and need help getting started, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.