Host A Neighborhood Potluck To #ShareAMeal And #EndChildHunger #spon

by Valerie Gray, From Val's Kitchen

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empty plate

Are you looking forward to the holidays? Many people, myself included, have a nice holiday meal. It’s yummy. Everyone sits around and eats and feels stuffed after the big meal, right? Wrong. Not everyone. While many of us are enjoying our holiday meal, there are many children in the US with nothing to eat. Imagine that. We look forward to several helpings of food and some children have nothing but an empty plate. It’s hard to imagine, isn’t it.

At the end of October I wrote a post sharing information about child hunger, a problem that is much bigger then some of us may have realized. Right now there are 16 million children in the US struggling with hunger. What a huge number! That number represents the population of Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia and Chicago combined.  The number is so big that it translates to a ratio of 1 in 5. In simplest terms, one out of every five children in America face hunger.With odds like that you have probably encountered, or know, a child struggling with hunger.

Unilever Project Sunlight is rallying people across the country to “Share A Meal” to help fight child hunger in America. Project Sunlight is a growing community of people that believes it is possible for everyone to thrive and no child be hungry. By sharing the messages and getting people involved we will take another step towards living sustainably and wiping out childhood hunger.

One way that we can help fight childhood hunger is by having a neighborhood potluck. The simplest way to do this is to invite a couple of families that you know. You would then ask those families to bring along a big dish and someone they know that might need a little help. It’s simple and it works. It has the power to help a couple of people in need that are directly in your neighborhood. I propose you take it to the next level.

nonperishable food

You’re still having a potluck. Make sure you invite as many people that you know as possible. You know how in the summer some neighborhoods have block parties where all the families get together? And the families all invite their friends and families? Think like that. Have a neighborhood block party potluck. Yes you’ll still want each family to bring a dish. But there’s more. You’ll also ask each family to bring at least one item suitable for donation to the local food bank for each person that will be attending. So a family of four would bring their dish and four items suitable for donation to the food bank.

To some this sounds expensive. It isn’t. The foods that most local food banks really need are inexpensive, and in some cases you might even have them right in your pantry. It isn’t the brands that are important, it’s the food that’s important. If you don’t have them clip some coupons and/or watch for a sale and then take advantage and pick up items suitable for donation. It’s easy to find out what types of items food banks in your area are looking for, just check the Feeding America website. The food bank for my area always has a need for non-perishable food items including:

  • ready-to-eat canned meals
  • canned tuna
  • canned fruits
  • canned vegetables
  • canned and dry soup
  • canned juiced
  • instant potatoes
  • pasta and rice
  • peanut butter
  • jelly
  • hot and cold cereal

As everyone arrives place the items to be donated in boxes or bags. Make sure that everyone can see them, so they understand what little effort and money it takes to make a difference. After the potluck block party is over gather bring it all to your local food bank and donate it.

This idea of a neighborhood potluck works with any size group and could easily be implemented by any community organization or group.

“Going to Bed Hungry: The Changing Face of Child Hunger” is a touching and important 4-minute long documentary video.

Please share this post and the video above, in order to spread the word. Please join Project Sunlight and Feeding America in taking steps to help solve childhood hunger. No child should be hungry on any given day.

To learn more please visit There is a lot of info there, including the Share A Meal Toolkit.

You can find Unilver Project Sunlight on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

You can find Feeding America on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.

What are you going to do this year to help fight child hunger?


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Terry December 21, 2014 - 5:56 pm

A friend of mine in Montana does a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving and Christmas. They feed anyone who comes to eat. sounds good too.

Jeanine December 21, 2014 - 6:09 pm

This is a great idea! I never would think to do this buy it sounds like a good idea. I need to do this!

Debbie Denny December 21, 2014 - 6:35 pm

This is a great project. We have a restaurant that has free Saturtay. Peoplde who can afford it can donate and those who can’t eat free. Wonderful of them to o this also.

Catherine S December 21, 2014 - 6:53 pm

This is such a great idea. No child should ever go hungry. I am going to do this for pot luck at work.

Robin (Masshole Mommy) December 21, 2014 - 7:05 pm

We donated to the food pantry in our town and will do so again soon! It’s great to help when we can!

fancygrlnancy (Nancy Partin) December 21, 2014 - 7:05 pm

Sounds like a great project. No child should be hungry.

Pam December 21, 2014 - 7:16 pm

This is a great idea. I love the idea of having a potluck to help those in need.

Tracy @ Ascending Butterfly December 21, 2014 - 10:42 pm

I do stuff for charities in other ways, sadly I would never have a neighborhood potluck as my stoner, inconsiderate neighbors are not people I would break bread with. I donate time as well as money to a wide variety of charities. 🙂

Virginia @thatbaldchick December 21, 2014 - 11:09 pm

I volunteer at a local food pantry throughout the year. It’s really amazing how many people the pantry helps. This is such a simple way to raise awareness and gather much needed items for those in need.

Liz Mays December 22, 2014 - 1:21 am

I just finished up a neighborhood food drive, and it was so successful. I’m all for fighting childhood hunger as best we can!

patricia Marsden December 22, 2014 - 8:08 am

Donate food to a local food bank and publicize the problem America’s children and their families face here.

Rosey December 22, 2014 - 9:21 am

Any and every way we can help, I think we should. A neighborhood potluck sounds fun too!

Kathleen December 22, 2014 - 3:46 pm

I would love to do something like this in our neighborhood. We have lived here for 7 years and I still don’t know my neighbors.

Krystal December 22, 2014 - 5:22 pm

This is an awesome idea to do something with your neighbors. Giving back is important this time of year (And always!).

Debbie L. December 22, 2014 - 8:22 pm

Very good idea for a friend and family event. We give regularly to our local food pantry.

TIffany (A Mom's Take) December 23, 2014 - 8:56 am

What a splendid idea you’ve got here. Maybe I should do this. It would be a fun way to finally meet my neighbors.


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