Caritas gearing up for Hunger Action Day awareness

State & Regional

WACO, Texas – If you are out on Friday, you may see many people wearing the color orange. This is to bring awareness for Hunger Action Day.

Caritas will continue their mission of feeding the hungry in Waco and McLennan County – except this time they are doing it with the help of 100 volunteers.

“We’re going to have Amazon employees, for the first time, volunteering there at Caritas, and also at our Hidden Treasure thrift store,” Caritas Director of Development Mary Beth Kauk said.

Kauk says the Amazon employees are from the new fulfillment plan under construction in Waco, and will help serve the community on Hunger Action Day.

They will work in shifts – bagging groceries, loading baskets and testing electronics at the thrift store.

“Orange is the color of hunger, and we’re also encouraging our staff members to wear orange to bring more awareness to people that are facing hunger in our community and across the nation everyday.”

More than 40 million people have experienced food hunger since the pandemic, according to Feeding America. 26 percent of people in Waco are living in poverty, and don’t know where their next meal will come from.

Baylor Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty Communications Director Craig Nash said in a statement:

“The early weeks and months of the COVID-19 pandemic revealed how many people in our country are just one missed paycheck away from becoming food insecure. This showed itself in iconic images of long lines at food distribution sites. It also revealed what an abundance of food resources we have in the United States. It was never a question of whether we had enough food to feed everyone. The question and challenge was what we would do make sure the food made it to where it was most needed. As we eventually move into a post-pandemic reality, it is a moral imperative that we keep this spirit of giving and creativity going, so that no one goes to bed hungry.”

According to Feeding America, households experiencing food hunger do not qualify for federal nutrition programs, and they visit local banks for extra support.

“Pre-pandemic, it was about 1,900 families a month. Now, during the middle of the pandemic, it was up to 2,700 families,” Kauk said. “We’re still flexing between the numbers.”

In 2020, Caritas served over 40,000 households – and they plan to keep the mission going.

“We’re never here to judge when a person is in that situation, but provide resources for these individuals to overcome life’s barriers,” Kauk said.

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