Wake County Proclaims June as Hunger Awareness Month

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On June 5th, the Wake County Board of Commissioners unanimously proclaimed June as Hunger Awareness Month.

“Working on food security really is a win-win for everyone,” explains Commissioner Matt Calabria, “It helps our farmers, our agriculture community. It helps those who need food. It strengthens our economy. It increases our productivity, and it helps out our education system as well.”

Food security means having enough food and knowing where your next meal is coming from. It means having access to nutritious and culturally relevant food. A family is food insecure when its members live in hunger or fear of hunger.

The Wake County Food Security Program is working to ensure that all residents in Wake County have access to affordable, nutritious and culturally relevant food. Our office partners with the community to share best practices, identify gaps in resources, and improve overall resource allocation and awareness of food resources.

In Wake County, 12% of adults and 14% of children are food insecure. To reduce that percentage, the county has invested an additional $7.2 million in innovative efforts to fight hunger.

Wake County Food Security Manager, Sydney Klein Mierop states:

“Thank you all for your continued prioritization of food insecurity in both your goals and the investments you’ve made with our community partners through Cooperative Extension.

Since March 2020, the county has invested federal dollars that have contributed to 8.2 million meals being served just through the partners we are connected with – that does not include all the work that other community partners perform.”

Hunger Awareness Month is a global acknowledgement that hunger is prevalent in our communities. Join Wake County Food Security in efforts to reduce hunger and educate our community:

  • Moving Beyond Hunger: Creating a Resilient & Equitable Food System is an update to the 2018 Wake County Food Plan. These updates are the result of an equity-based steering committee, partner-organization workgroups, and research-based analysis of similar models. The steering committee was composed of community members with lived experience of poverty and/or strong advocacy roles in their community, as well as practitioners actively working in food system roles.
  • Youth Food Security Summit equips young adults with the resources and knowledge to grow our future food system. This event is offered to 8th-12th grade students in Wake County who want to develop a deeper understanding of food insecurity.
  • Farm Safety Donation Drive is organized by youth from extension programs, Juntos and Liberation Out Loud. If you can support, we are looking for donations of the farm safety items such as gloves, hats, sunblock, and toiletries!
  • Unity Around the World: International Festival is presented by Extension & Community Association (ECA), an adult volunteer organization closely affiliated with N.C. Cooperative Extension. Wake County ECA members are committed to continuing education, leadership development, and volunteer service in their communities. This International Festival brings the community together in one place to travel to countries all over the world. Attendees have the opportunity to try cultural food dishes, and view artifacts, traditional attire, music, and more!
  • Summer Food Service Program is a USDA federally funded program created to ensure food is available to youth during the summer months. In North Carolina, nearly 1 in 5 children are living in food insecure households, and the loss of school meals is a significant impact on childhood hunger. All meals are free to community members 0-17 years old.

Spread hunger awareness this June and stay tuned for more opportunities during Hunger Action Month in September!

More ways to stay involved: Wake County Food Security: How to Help

Watch the Wake County Food Security Plan Update