This winter, Athletes for Hope has been tackling the disparities of food insecurity across our AFH University campuses through service projects and advocacy. Our athletes believe that nobody should have to choose between paying a bill or nourishing their bodies.
Food insecurity affects people from every walk of life, including athletes and those in the community right around us – whether you see it or not.
Food insecurity is defined by the United States Department of Agriculture as a lack of consistent access to enough food for every person in a household to live an active, healthy life. This can be a temporary situation for a family or can last a long time.
Who does it affect?
Hunger occurs for people from all walks of life – including athletes – but doesn’t affect everyone equally. Groups like children, seniors and black, indigenous, and other people of color face hunger at higher rates. Hunger also affects those living in poverty.
60% of collegiate athletes experience food insecurity in the United States.
How can athletes help?
There are many different ways athletes can use their platforms to combat food insecurity! Education is always at the start so be sure to familiarize yourself with the topic and learn how it affects the communities closest to you. Here are a few ways to get started:
Written by Isabella Legarza, former MSU Women’s Volleyball player and current Athletes for Hope intern.
As we continue to move forward in this ever-changing world, a pandemic isn’t going to stop Michigan State Spartans from participating in community service. Since the fall, student-athletes have been under extreme COVID-19 protocols in order to compete in their respected sport. In honor of National Nutrition Month, Michigan State Student-Athletes teamed up with Athletes for Hope and Feeding America to provide meals for those in need in the Greater Lansing area.
After brainstorming COVID-safe service opportunities, Athletes for Hope presented a “Contact-less Food Donation Drive.” The Contact-less Food Drive provided multiple ways of involvement. Spartans were encouraged to collect non- perishables, where an AFH intern would be notified where and when to pick up the donations and drop them off at the Food Bank – keeping this COVID-safe. Another option was to encourage donations as low as $1; for every $1 donated 10 meals were provided in the Greater Lansing Area.
As the National Nutrition Month comes to an end, we are excited to report the great work that has been done. Over 8,000 meals will be provided to the Greater Lansing community. We are so proud of the Spartan participation. Together, we can connect, raise awareness and inspire those around us.
Food insecurity and the lack of access to nutritious food options are issues throughout the United States that can impact individuals and families in all aspects of life. For that reason, Athletes for Hope (AFH) is partnering with Feeding America to help raise awareness about the urgency of addressing these issues in recognition of National Nutrition Month throughout March.
Led by Campaign Champion, Dalton Risner of the Denver Broncos, AFH Member Athletes from all over the country will use their platform to raise awareness on the importance of reducing food insecurity and actions their fans and community members can take to help end hunger throughout the country.
“Athletes for Hope is proud to support the tremendous work of Feeding America during National Nutrition Month,” says Ivan Blumberg, Athletes for Hope CEO. “Food insecurity is a major issue for millions of Americans, and unfortunately the situation continues to worsen. AFH Members from across the country are passionate about this issue, and we will empower them to positively impact their local communities.”
AFH Member Athletes will take part in the campaign in following ways:
Volunteering or donating pantry items for their local food bank
Raising awareness about food insecurity and lack of access to nutritious food options on their social media platforms
Participating in a fundraiser to benefit the Feeding America food bank network
AFH is proud, but not surprised, of the high level of interest in campaign participation from Member Athletes representing various levels, sports and leagues from across the country. Make sure to follow Athletes For Hope on Twitter and Instagram as we highlight the incredible work these athletes are doing to help raise awareness for this important cause.
To learn more about Feeding America and food insecurity, please click here.