WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — September is Hunger Action Month. The goal is to end food insecurity. Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, is working to do just that.
One group of the hundreds of food banks and thousands of food pantries from across the country is the Kansas Food Bank.
Kansas Food Bank president and CEO Brian Walker said it’s no small task.
“Our need is still at record high levels,” said Walker.
According to Feeding America, in Kansas, 350,000 people are facing hunger. That’s one in eight people, and one in six are children.
“It started with the start of the pandemic,” said Walker. “We saw increases of 30 to 40%, and we haven’t seen that need decline whatsoever, so there’s still a large need for us to purchase goods because the donated goods we’re receiving is down quite a bit.”
Walker said it’s something that typically goes unnoticed.
“Hunger is not something they like to talk about, and it’s our unseen problem,” he said. “Nobody wants to admit that they’re hungry, so we’re just doing our very best to provide nutritious meals to those folks who come to us and say, hey, I just need a little help putting food on the table.”
Donations also go a long way.
“We can turn one dollar into roughly four meals,” he said.
Walker said the food bank needs volunteers and food items. He said the economy isn’t back to where it was before the pandemic, so the need continues.
“We still have a long way to go, and kids are just going back to school,” he said. “What we’re dealing with is better, but it’s not over, so please keep that in mind when you’re thinking about helping your neighbors.”
The food bank is looking for items like canned vegetables and fruits, peanut butter, and other non-perishable items.
If you’d like to donate or volunteer, find information by clicking here.