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You Can Boost the LAA’s Mission to Reduce Hunger in the Community this September for Hunger Action Month

Though September’s cool breezes have brought us physical and emotional comfort for the first time in months, some of our friends and neighbors continue to grapple with a more daunting condition: hunger. Due to factors including the lack of financial resources to put food on the table and inadequate transportation options for traveling to a quality food retailer, countless families and individuals in our community live without reliable, stable access to food.

As we acknowledge the ongoing issue of hunger, September also marks the beginning of Hunger Action Month, a time when individuals and organizations come together to address this pressing concern through direct, impactful acts. For those who are driven to make a difference, we welcome your donation of non-perishable goods to the LAA food pantry or your cash donations that enable us to purchase bulk food items and support the administration of the food pantry. No matter what action you decide to take, we invite you to join forces with us this Hunger Action Month. Together, we can nourish families and individuals, support their journey toward economic independence, and create lasting change in our community.

Hunger Affects All of Us

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We typically think of hunger as a private issue that affects a food insecure person individually, when in reality we are all interconnected and hunger affects all of us directly and indirectly. Direct effects of hunger include physical, mental, and emotional difficulties that disrupt performance at school and work and undermine healthy relationships with family, friends, and community members. This means that co-workers, classmates, education professionals, family members, friends, and neighbors navigate the fallout from food insecurity on up to a daily basis. When members of our community are hungry, our community is hungry.

Hunger Action Month brings hope through action, and there are many ways you as an individual can help the LAA fight hunger in the community. If you have an active presence on LinkedIn, or you prefer to connect with friends and family on Facebook, or if you are a member of a professional group or academic department with its own email list, it would be so helpful to the LAA and our food pantry program if you could share this blog post with your network.

Not only would your act of spreading the word elevate awareness of Hunger Action Month, but it could spark more people to take action against hunger this September – and even onwards.

Diversity Benefits Hunger Relief Efforts

There are numerous organizations actively fighting hunger in our communities, and the variety of approaches ensures that a wide range of people are reached by these efforts. From national to local networks of food banks to general such as Feeding America and the Atlanta Community Food Bank to culturally relevant food pantries like at Jewish Family & Career Services, organizations align their anti-hunger services to match their clients and their mission for maximum impact. The LAA fits right into this group, as we tailor our food pantry offerings to match the culinary traditions of Latino community that we serve.

While the LAA provides culturally relevant foods for the Latino community such as Maseca (a popular brand of corn flour) and a variety of tortillas, even those outside the community would be familiar with other in-demand foods from our pantry. Among shelf-stable foods, bags of beans are incredibly valued for their taste, versatility, and ability to be the major component of a truly filling meal. Black, pinto, and red beans are especially delicious and useful in many Latino dishes. Rice is another familiar food that community members who are served by our pantry are able to use in many dishes, as it can create a base for the other ingredients to build on. Supplies of cooking oil and tomato products (sauce, paste, diced) round out the most requested foods our pantry stocks.

One of the special aspects of Hunger Action Month is the numerous ways an individual can take action, that lead to a positive difference in the lives of so many people. In addition to the option to share this blog post, you can help the LAA stock our food pantry. Welcome you to donate shelf-stable food in their original, unopened, and unexpired cans, bags, and boxes to our locations on Buford Highway, in Dalton, or in Lawrenceville. If you wish to multiply your efforts you can fill out our food drive form and organize a drive at your job, school, local library, community center, or even small business.

Atlanta: 2750 Buford Hwy, Atlanta, GA 30324

Dalton: 218 N Fredrick St, Dalton, GA 30721

Lawrenceville: 308 North Clayton St, Lawrenceville, GA 30046

Hope Found At LAA Food Pantry

While the focus on Hunger Action Month is hunger, we cannot forget that the goal is to support people with nourishing food during their time of need. Every person living with food insecurity is full of the same potential as those who have finished college or professional training and have become materially self-sufficient. The difference most often comes from being born into a situation with limited opportunity, or living in an environment in upheaval or decline. This potential is most evident in the courageous stories of the millions of people who leave their homes and everything they have ever known in search of something better.

We are humbled to introduce you to Karina, a new arrival to Atlanta from Venezuela. When she came to the LAA food pantry for help, she hadn’t even been in the United States a for a full week. Seeing her condition, her friend knew exactly where Karina could go to begin creating a new life for herself. Please meet Karina and hear from her in her own words:

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“We came here just 4 days ago, with absolutely nothing. We passed through 4-5 countries, ruined our only clothes and experienced immense fear and danger. Right now it is 10 of us staying in one household, 8 adults and two children. And the friend who took us in referred us here (LAA) because she was helped here too. To come here after everything we have been through and to be received with open arms and kindness is an air of security and a sense of hope for us. We want to find jobs as soon as possible to help ourselves get on our feet but we have only been here for a few days so this food and clothing means everything to us.”

Karina was forced to make an incredibly difficult decision, which led her through an incredible ordeal. But she survived with her spirit intact and arrived in Atlanta, where we at the LAA were able to be a part of her rebuilding process. Eventually, Karina will establish herself as part of the hard-working, family-oriented Latino community in Atlanta that has been contributing so much to this city’s prosperity.

We at the LAA know how elusive economic self-sufficiency has become for many of us in the Atlanta area and throughout the state of Georgia, and appreciate your consideration of sharing this blog post or donating food to our pantry. If you have the means, your cash donation for Hunger Action Month would an incredibly powerful resource for a food pantry. Cash allows us to buy exactly what our clients need at bulk pricing not available to the public, as well as cover the overhead associated with food storage. Every dollar helps, and we have many ways for you to amplify the impact and meaning of your cash donation:

Choose Your Impact This Hunger Action Month

Hunger Action Month is a reminder that it takes effort to fight food insecurity in our communities, and that every act helps. Reading this blog post to learn more about food insecurity, the scope of hunger in our community, what the LAA does to fight hunger and how we serve the Latino community across many of their social service needs, and how you can support the LAA in our mission, absolutely counts as an action. Sharing this post with your networks, is another action. Donating food or organizing a food drive is another action. Donating cash and amplifying your generosity through employer support and by remembering your loved ones, is still more incredibly appreciated, valuable action. We at the LAA are truly grateful for your support in taking action this September for Hunger Action month.

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