September Is Hunger Action Month; Here's How You Can Help

Hunger Action Month was started by the organization Feeding America to urge people to join their local food banks in taking action against hunger in the U.S. Throughout September, cities across the country raise awareness of the issue of hunger through a variety of events.

Here in Houston, the theme for Hunger Action Month is "Hunger Bites. Bite back." According to the Houston Food Bank's Web site, this slogan represents "both that hunger is bad and the painful, biting effect it has on those who live with it daily."

Beginning Monday, September 9, City Hall will be washed in orange light at night in support of Hunger Action Month. Houstonians can also show support through a number of volunteer events and fundraisers.

Here's how you can help:

September 9-12 Orange is the official color of hunger relief, so show your support by visiting City Hall and snapping a selfie. Use the hashtag #hungerbites to share it with the Food Bank.

September 12-15 Papa Murphy's is helping to bite back at hunger by donating $1 of every pizza purchased between September 12 and 15 to the Houston Food Bank. With 13 locations throughout the greater Houston area, there's bound to be a Papa Murphy's near you.

September 14-20 In southeast Texas, approximately 785,000 people use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or SNAP (formerly food stamps) to help buy food for themselves and their families. The average SNAP budget is $4 a day or $28 a week for an individual. The Houston Food Bank is challenging Houstonians to eat on $4 a day for the week of September 14. Mayor Annise Parker has already signed up for the SNAP Challenge, and you can do so as well by visiting the SNAP Challenge page on the Food Bank Web site. If that sounds like too big of a challenge for you foodies out there, consider donating the difference between $28 and your average weekly food bill to the Food Bank. For as little as $1, you can provide a full day of meals for someone in need.

September 17, 6-9 p.m. Join other young professionals around Houston for a volunteer event where you can network and do some good all at the same time. The event is organized by the Emerging Leaders Young Professional Group. To sign up, contact Anya Angermeier at 713-547-8634 or aangermeier@houstonfoodbank.org.

September 22, 12-4 p.m. Want to rub elbows with top-notch local chefs, but don't have the $180 to spend on a Where the Chefs Eat Houston Culinary Tour? Join 12 to 15 local chefs for a day of volunteering at the Houston Food Bank. Chefs and volunteers will help pack family boxes and create Backpack Buddy sacks for schoolchildren and sort food to be used or distributed by the Food Bank. Go to the Houston Culinary Tours Web site to sign up.

September 25, 6-8 p.m. Throughout September, Karbach Brewing Co. is hosting Happy Hours for Hunger at locations around town. Happy hour on September 19 will be at Liberty Station from 5 to 7 p.m., and Cottonwood's happy hour will be on Sept 26 from 5 to 7 p.m. Both will feature kegs of Karbach's Sympathy for the Lager, and all proceeds from both kegs will go to the Houston Food Bank. On Wednesday, September 25, the brewery itself is hosting a happy hour. A $5 donation will get entry and a beer, and every dollar collected will go to the Houston Food Bank.

September 30, 10 a.m. Houston Food Bank's Social Services Outreach Program (SSOP) is holding a resource fair at Joe V's Smart Shop to help people in need find and apply for social services and other resources, such as: SNAP/food stamps application assistance; Medicaid/CHIP application assistance; financial literacy; health screenings; nutrition education; higher education; and workforce development.

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