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9/25 Editorial: Look locally: Take action to fight hunger

11:41 AM EDT, September 26, 2013

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It is reported that one in six people in America struggle with hunger. In Virginia, over 1,012,500 individuals struggle to put food on the table everyday. These people live in our communities, are our neighbors, co-workers, and friends, and they often do not voice their struggles.

This month you have a chance to give those struggling to put food on the table a voice by supporting Hunger Action Month - a public effort through Feeding America to fight to end hunger.

All month long, members of the Federation of Virginia Food Banks and thousands of other agencies and groups have been on a mission to bring the fight to end hunger into the spotlight.

In these hard economic times, many individuals and families face difficult decisions as they try to make end meet every month. With help, those decisions do not have to be choosing between eating and having electricity.

This may be the end of Hunger Action Month but there is still an opportunity to create a lasting impact on your community.

This designated month should only be one more reminder to us all that we can do something to help.

Feeding America offers these suggestions on how you can help:

• Tour a local food bank - visit hungeractionmonth.org and type in your zip code to find a food bank near you

• Share a hunger fact with a friend

• Volunteer at a food bank or local food drive - check with local organizations to see when they are holding any food drives or suggest they do so

• Host a party and ask friends to bring canned foods as their ticket in the door

There are several local ways you can help. Organizations across the area hold food drives periodically throughout the year.

Here are a few local ones to consider:

• The West Point Good Neighbor Center collects a variety of donations throughout the year. Call 804-843-4339 for more information.

• Good Karma, a non-profit organization in King William County, is currently hosting its "Fill-A-Box" non-perishable food drive. For more information contact Lisa Woody at 994-8742.

• King and Queen Social Services accepts donations for non-perishable foods for its in-house food pantry. Call 804-785-5977 for more information.

• The CornerStone Food Bank in King William accepts and distributes food, reporting that an average of 200 families pick up a bag of food each Saturday. CornerStone hosts several events throughout the year and is located in Aylett. Visit their website at http://www.cornerstoneaylett.org to learn how to help or call 804-769-2996 for more information.

• For information on food banks and drives or donations in New Kent, contact New Kent Social Services at 804-966-1853.

More organizations begin hosting drives as the holidays approach. Taking action to help the fight against hunger does not have to be limited to the month of September. Think of ways you can help throughout the year, sometimes when it's needed most.