A Hunger Crisis In America Is Happening, And It’s Time We Spoke Up About It

Note: This #UpChat has concluded, but don't worry! You can check our recap of the discussion below and here.


I imagine that when some people see the words "hunger crisis" alongside "America," they probably snort, roll their eyes and try to think of some witty comment about how America is the richest country in the world and if anything they have too *much* food.

Nope, sorry, not buying that.

Poverty is a crippling force in America as it is elsewhere in the world, and it has led to a major food crisis in the country. Kids are going hungry, and millions of families cannot afford to eat. And it's only getting worse. Seriously, it's like some twisted version of "The Hunger Games" except slightly more, er, real.

OK, Upworthy, where are you going with this exactly?

The folk here at Upworthy ( hi there) are joining forces with TakePart (the ace people behind the documentary "A Place at the Table," which inspired this chat) to talk about America's hidden food crisis with an #UpChat on Twitter.

Sounds great! But what exactly is an #UpChat? What's the aim?

I am glad you asked, invisible person. An #UpChat is a discussion using Twitter where we talk about an important issue with other people online. This chat will be about America's hunger crisis and it will be with us, TakePart, and a number of participants. We want to bring together engaging ideas and thoughts about what action America can take and help shed light on this underreported issue.

OK, so what can I do now?

Well, the biggest, most crucial part of all this is to have people like YOU — hey, yep you — join us and make your voice heard. Here are the three steps:

1) Tune in on Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 4 p.m EST.

2) Follow us on Twitter: @Upworthy.

3) Come prepared with your brain and any thoughts about the issue you may have, and tweet them to us using the #UpChat hashtag!

4) Check out the awesome folks joining us for the #UpChat:

I JUST CAN'T WAIT UNTILL THEN, UPWORTHY. I NEED TO DO SOMETHING NOWWWW.

In the meantime, my Internet friend, you can share this post with your friends and family who may find it of interest, and you can watch the "A Place at the Table" trailer to learn a little bit more about why we're kicking up a big ol' fuss over this.

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.