Imagine going to the grocery store and finding the place barren, a finger-tip layer of dust left on the shelves, poor fluorescent lighting flickering above, and no one to explain the head-scratching events that led to the food's disappearance. Imagine, too, that your local farmers markets have disappeared as well. And while we're at it, let's just say that the farms themselves ceased to exist.
Sounds terrifying, right? It is. And I don't know about you, but I lack basic food survival skills because I have never needed them. I'm a millennial black woman living in one of the most privileged cities in America.
The Hunger Crisis
In reality, we don't have to imagine this food wasteland in order to envision a situation where we can't purchase what we want and need. There are many people across the U.S. who have access to grocery stores and markets and still go hungry.
It may seem unimaginable, but this is far more common than we may know. An astonishing 795 million women, men, and children in the world are hungry. One person hungry is too much; millions is heartbreaking at best.
This fall, one small way you can help move the needle is by hosting (or attending!) a FEED Supper.
What Is FEED Supper?
Founded by Lauren Bush Lauren, FEED Supper is an annual month-long campaign to help end the hunger crisis across the globe. The basic idea behind the initiative is simple: Get together for a delicious evening with friends and family, and experience the simple and gratifying feeling of coming together with those you love to raise money to feed others. Specifically, the goal is to raise 2 million meals by World Food Day, on October 16.
How FEED Supper Works
Every dollar that you raise goes to providing meals through FEED's giving partners, Feeding America and the World Food Programme. This year, the funds will go to four different nations: Mexico, India, Ghana, and the United States. As a host, you can choose where your dollars will go or just devote them to the region that's most in need.
Hosting a FEED Supper is easy, and that's because FEED makes it so. Step by step, though their site, they walk you through and assist you in the hosting process with tool kits, earning charts, and a simple donation form that guests can choose to donate for one time or over time.
The night can be whatever you make it. Some choose to simply have a candle-lit evening in the comfort of their homes with just a few close friends; some choose to have larger affairs that are more formal in form. There is no wrong way to do it. The only thing that matters is that you do it.
My FEED Supper: How I Hosted a Dinner Party for 16
I know, because last year I hosted my very own FEED Supper. On an early September evening — a night set for rain, but that proved otherwise — 15 guests and I answered the hunger crisis in a small yet grand way in the concrete-paved backyard of Concrete & Water in Brooklyn.
I knew I wanted to combine style and comfort, and of course joy. And in planning, I realized something rather magical: Many people want to be involved — you just have to ask. So I did.
The Meatball Shop donated a delicious family-style spread for the guests, The Vine donated wine, and Rent Patina donated all the furnishings. A few friends pitched in to help with serving and clean-up, and one of my best friends, Courtney Bryant, serenaded the group with Sam Cooke and a few of my other favorites as we chatted before dinner.
That evening, my guests and I gave 6,609 meals, and that number continued to grow as guests who could not attend donated after that evening.