Stories from the National Hunger Hotline: Kids Helping Kids

The National Hunger Hotline, a service of WhyHunger’s National Hunger Clearinghouse, provides real-time referrals for people in need across the U.S. to emergency food and assistance programs. Receiving an average of 700 calls per month, the Hotline is a portal to information, assistance and resources, ultimately empowering families and individuals to meet their vital needs including fresh, healthy food. In “Stories from the Hotline,” we share some of the experiences of callers and our efforts to support them.

Twelve-year-old Sara from California recently called the Hotline. Sara had made the No Kid Hungry pledge with Share our Strength, adding her voice to the national movement of people committed to ending childhood hunger in America by 2015. After receiving an email with the Hotline’s number along with information about the USDA’s summer meals program, Sara called the Hotline to see if there were any summer feeding sites in her community. Her small town had twelve sites! Inspired by the resources she’s learning about, Sara plans to post flyers in her town so that other kids in her community won’t go hungry. We’re excited that Sara and many youth around the country are acting as catalysts in their communities, and we encourage everyone to take their lead and support the summer meals program as a critical tool in the fight against childhood hunger. No child should go hungry this summer.

The National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3 HUNGRY and 1-877-8 HAMBRE (1-866-348-6479 and 1-877-842-6273) refers people in need of emergency food assistance to food pantries, government programs, and model grassroots organizations that work to improve access to healthy, nutritious food, and build self-reliance. Help is available on Monday through Friday from 9am-6pm EST. Hablamos español. The Hotline is funded in part by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.

This article originally appeared in our monthly e-newsletter, the Clearinghouse Connection, which facilitates the exchange of information, resources and ideas among emergency food providers. To subscribe, email NHC.

Christine Binder