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Dietitians Dish: Get involved in World Food Day

By Elizabeth Sommerfeld
Oct. 2, 2012 at 5:02 a.m.

Elizabeth Sommerfeld

Many of us live in a world of plenty. We often forget that there is a large population in the world and even in our own communities who struggle with hunger and wonder from where their next meal will come.

Studies indicate that one out of every five children in Texas under the age of 18 deals with food insecurities.

Food insecurities mean that the children aren't sure if they have enough food to feed them at the next meal or next day.

The local Golden Crescent food bank's materials indicate that almost half of their clients (46.7 percent) have to choose between food and other necessities such as rent, medications and utility bills.

Oct. 16 is World Food Day. This is a day of action against hunger. Check out worldfooddayusa.org to find ways that you can take action to help end hunger. The site lists such things as:

Organizing a run or walk to end hunger. Many organizations are turning to these run/walks to raise awareness and funds to fight for the cause.

Arrange a food and fund drive. Consider collecting food and money at your place of business or going door to door and asking for donations to help your local food banks.

According to the Food Bank of the Golden Crescent website (victoriafoodbank.org), $45 can feed a family of four for a whole month, $25 can provide 200 meals, $50 can provide 400 meals, and $100 can provide 800 meals.

The Food Bank of the Golden Crescent does not only serve the Victoria area, but also 11 surrounding counties and their food programs.

Visit your local farmers market. There is a local farmers market in Victoria, at 2805 N. Navarro St. Hours are 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Here you can find locally grown vegetables, fruit, plants, canned items, eggs and herbs.

Engage your local schools. Consider a poster contest to raise awareness, grow vegetables in the classroom and teach science and hunger awareness at the same time, write World Food Day on the white board on Oct. 16 and talk about what it means, or download stickers and pass out to raise awareness.

Volunteer your time. Call the local food bank to see how you can help. Typically, these programs are tightly staffed and would be difficult to run without assistance from volunteers. Consider taking your church or scout group or just a bunch of friends and give your time to help. More than likely there is a variety of things you can help do, such as loading or unloading food, sorting, making thank you calls, writing grants, or filing. Some things such as grant writing or special event coordinating may be a great way to use your talent if other physical work does not appeal to you.

The basic message is get involved. Consider World Food Day as your reminder that not everyone may be as secure as you and your family.

Take time out of your busy schedule and help your local community to help end hunger.

Elizabeth Sommerfeld is the clinical nutrition manager/bariatric coordinator at DeTar Healthcare Systems. She is a registered and licensed dietitian and has a master of science degree. Send questions or comments to dietitians@vicad.com.

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