Hustle!… It is all we seem to do lately. We sometimes forget in all the hustle to lift our heads and take a look around at our world, we are consumed by day to day living. It’s not that we don’t care, far from it! But with the state of the economy as it is recently we seem more often than not to speeding up in our focused day to day just trying to maintain our footing.

But there are some near us that are having an even more difficult time and do really need our help. Fortunately some creative forward thinkers have used the web to make the connection between the extremely busy, and the extremely needy, virtually speaking that is… In a recent press release Hellmann’s(R), (you know them best for their mayonnaise,)

Feeding America(R,) formerly known as America’s Second Harvest and Facebook have teamed up to run an application called Sandwich Swap N Share, where every sandwich made will help translate into real lunches for kids . I gave the application a try, and 7 lucky friends of mine were treated to my grilled chicken and pepper- jack bagel. I was informed that I just provided 49 lunches to kids who need the helping hand, and at that moment joined a force who created all total 93,933 lunches. It kinda feels good! Put a smile on my face for sure! If you are on Facebook, I recommend you give it a try; if your kids are, then encourage them to pitch in, after all it is not like you will have to clean up after them.. No doubt I am going to be making sandwiches tomorrow again too…virtually speaking.

And I am going to keep making sandwiches until the possy and I hit Hellmann’s(R) goal of 700,000 lunches. But sooner or later this initiative will run it’s course, and there will still be people needing help. Don’t let stereo-typical thinking interfere with the facts. The faces of the hungry in America are becoming all to familiar, they are our next door neighbors. Statistics now include the working poor. Economic troubles have hit the tables of many a good American family; so much so that according to Feeding America(R), well over 13.3 million (18%) million children alone were in poverty and that was in 2007….and a total 36.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households.

President Obama and hundreds of Congressional family members joined Feeding America in the United We Serve Backpack Project this summer to prepare 15,000 backpacks with books, healthy snacks, and other items for children of servicemen and women. These are the faces of some of the families who need help today and President Obama has called upon all Americans to support those who are struggling. Here’s how you can help… virtually speaking …without even leaving your home; you can make a desktop donation. The United Way hosts a virtual food drive and you can participate by searching virtual food drive along with your location.

These food drive initiatives are all over America, if not the same location will also lead you to a site that will help your area organize one to get up and running. By all means start advocating! Feeding America(R) also hosts Fill America’s Fridge, and you can find it at by searching Fill America’s Fridge or go to feeding and on their home page tab hit Take Action and scroll down to donate. There you will be given a few options in which I am sure you will find one that is tailored for you. As a rough estimate according to Feeding America, a $25.00 donation can provide for 175 meals. That is a good sound investment to me, and you would have to agree; as a nation we are as strong as our weakest link. The rising statistics on America’s hungry is looming large and real, but something we all can tackle together ensuring for a strong and viable future for us all. All we got to do is stick together!

Mary Forman

Mary is an educator and a parent of three children. She is the author of 7 children's books, loves arts and crafts and teaches parenting classes at Washington Community College.

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Mary FormanOpinion BlogsActivities for Kids,Emotional and Social Well-beingHustle!... It is all we seem to do lately. We sometimes forget in all the hustle to lift our heads and take a look around at our world, we are consumed by day to day living. It's not that we don't care, far from it! But with the state...Parenting Advice| Family Fun Activities for Kids