When anticipating the Thanksgiving holiday, many of us are fearful of eating too much or what to do with all the leftover food. People everywhere are fitting in an extra workout just to feel less guilty about the Thanksgiving indulgence. Some are planning how to make the most of their turkey, mapping out the turkey sandwiches and turkey chili for the family meals in the days following Thanksgiving. In all our thoughts surrounding the holiday, it is likely that “I’m going to go hungry” is not one of them.
Hunger in the United States
The reality of hunger in America is much more shocking than most of us realize. Beyond the approximate 3.5 million homeless Americans in the United States, 46.5 million people experience hunger and food insecurity. On average, 1 in 7 adults experience food insecurity and are often times unsure of where they will get their next meal. Think of the number of adults in your workplace or the adults that live on your street. One in 7 of these adults may be experiencing food insecurity as families with children, military families, employed persons with low wages and adults who have pursued or attained education beyond high school are all vulnerable to food insecurity. The chances of being food insecure are even greater among African American and Latino populations.
Government assisted programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) often times use their total number of participants as an estimation of the number of food insecure people in the U.S. However, it is reported that most people who utilize their local food pantries as a resource for emergency food are not part of any government assisted program. Many believe they would not qualify for such services and instead, turn toward food pantries like the one here at Martha’s Village and Kitchen. That means the number of people we consider to experience hunger in our country is well beyond any enrollment figures provided by these government programs and an amount far beyond what we can imagine.
Martha’s is Here to Help
Martha’s Village and Kitchen began in 1990 as a small soup kitchen where our founders served meals to their homeless neighbors. We are proud to say that 25 years later, Martha’s has grown to be one of the largest provider of homeless services in Riverside County. The services provided at Martha’s has extended beyond food service and has made a huge impact through our transitional housing program and career and education programs, as well as many others.
However, as we gather together with our family and friends at Thanksgiving tables laden with the bounty of the season, we must not forget the vast amount of homeless and food insecure citizens of our country – including those right here at home. For homeless individuals and families, Thanksgiving is a difficult day. Many struggle to remember better times and become despondent. It is important to us here at Martha’s to give our residents and community neighbors in need a fun and festive Thanksgiving, not only out of the spirit of the holiday but also as a tool to ensure they stay focused and on the path to a stable and successful transition back into mainstream society.
Martha’s provides a traditional Thanksgiving meal as well as other traditional holiday meals throughout the year. Year-round, we serve three meals a day to village residents and impoverished neighbors as well as operate an emergency services food pantry. We would not be able to serve a quarter of a million meals and feed 6,000 people in need if it wasn’t for the generosity of donors and volunteers. To get involved and make a difference for a member of our homeless community this Thanksgiving, visit or donation page and volunteer page or contact us for more information!Donate Now To Help Those In Need