In November 2018, Random Acts encouraged all of our supporters to take part in our annual Endure4Kindness (E4K) event, and as always, you blew us away with your creativity and kindness. Money raised during E4K allows us to sponsor acts of kindness all around the world. Funds from E4K 2018 are also going toward fighting childhood hunger. Whether you challenged yourself with your own E4K activity, spread the word on social media, supported others with their E4K fundraising, or donated to The Bad Idea Tour, your participation is helping to make the world a better place. We love being able to share some of the ways that your hard work is helping to fight food insecurity.
Our next stop is… Australia!
Food Insecurity in Australia
Children make up the age group that is most affected by poverty in Australia, with 17 percent of children living under the poverty line. The percentage of children living below the food poverty line is even higher, at 23 percent. That means that almost one in four children living in Australia are dealing with food insecurity. During the school year, schools try to counteract childhood hunger by providing breakfasts and snacks to those in need. Once summer break comes, these helpful resources are no longer available and it becomes harder for caregivers to make sure that their children are fed.
The Food Desert
Food deserts can be roughly defined as areas where it is hard to find affordable fresh food. Produce and other healthy options may be scarce, or they may be very expensive because of the time and resources it takes to transport fresh food to the area. Food deserts exacerbate food insecurity because people living below the poverty line become unable to access nutritious food options. Instead, they are left with cheaper, less fulfilling options. This takes an even greater toll on children since they require proper nutrition to maintain physical, mental, and emotional growth and development.
Fundraising Officer Beverley Burrows-Pym knew that carrying out her #RANoHungryChildAct would present a few logistical challenges, but she was ready to tackle them. Beverley wanted to provide summer break support for 10 families struggling with food insecurity in Queensland, Australia. Since buying food from the two corner shops in Beverley’s rural village can be expensive, she planned to travel 85 kilometers to the nearest town to reduce the cost of groceries.
Beverley and a group of helpful friends drove two hours to the nearest town, ready to fill their trailer with goodies. However, the store was not stocked well enough to accommodate their long shopping list. They made a few substitutions, then traveled another 35 minutes to finish their shopping in the next nearest town. Although it took some extra effort, they successfully completed their shopping and safely returned home.
Snacks and Smiles
Beverley’s family worked together to sort the food into summer snack packs for families in need. Popcorn, cereal bars, fruit juices, cranberries, raisins, fruit sticks, trail mix, nuts, veggie crisps, instant noodles, and more were all carefully packed into hampers. Beverley’s goal was to provide filling, nutritious snack options so that caregivers could focus on serving their children one quality meal each day. Steps like this help to reduce the stress that caregivers feel during summer breaks from school.
In total, 15 children from 10 local families received summer snack hampers. Beverley reported back that recipients were overwhelmed by the kindness and were quick to offer their own kindness in return. One family invited Beverley’s family in for drinks, even though they had limited resources to share. Another family brought water out to them since it was a hot summer day. There were smiles, happy tears, hugs, and even a few kisses from pet dogs!
We are so thankful for Beverley, her friends, and her family working hard to supply summer snacks for their community. And, we are thankful for your support, which makes acts of kindness like this possible.
If you are feeling inspired by Beverley’s #RANoHungryChildAct, why not reach out to your local food bank and learn how you can help them? Or, if you have an idea to fight childhood hunger in your community, tell us about it! We may be able to help with funding.