As most Americans prepare to sit down for a big Thanksgiving meal, there are thousands of Americans that are wondering where their next meal will be coming from and when, says spokespeople with Feeding America, the nation’s largest food bank program which operates over 200 food banks across the United States.
These food banks hope that donors will remember them throughout the year. Most food banks can provide between two and eight meals on a single dollar. Since the donations are often matched by corporations, an article in The Eater points out that the best way to help feed the hungry is to give cash.
One of the largest of the food banks is located in Houston, Texas. This food bank operates over 200 feeding centers throughout Southwest Texas. This food bank feeds over 800,000 people each year with plans to grow to feeding over 1 million in the next two years as the problem continues to expand.
The Salvation Army recently kicked off their Red Kettle Campaign in most American cities. For over 125 years, this organization has been feeding America’s homeless.
The idea for the Salvation Army’s red kettles began in 1891 when a Salvation Army Captain wanted to feed 1,000 of San Francisco’s poorest residents but lacked the funds to do it. He hit on the idea of putting a kettle near the city’s port. He began to gather contributions and was soon able to feed the residents a festive Christmas dinner.
From that humble beginning, the idea spread to the Boston area before eventually spreading throughout the United States. Each year, Americans contribute about $136 million annually. The annual campaign runs from early November to Christmas Eve.