Last year before Christmas, my wife kept asking me what I wanted for the holidays. I realized I didn't want any tangible gifts and made sure to drive home the point not to buy me anything material. Instead, she surprised me with a gift I wouldn't have expected to make such a lasting impact. We both spent the day volunteering together at our local food bank, an experience that was more rewarding than I ever could have expected. We realize, though, that hunger is unfortunately a 365-day challenge for far too many people.
While at the food bank, I talked with other volunteers as well as those there to collect food -- an experience that opened my eyes to the faces of hunger in our country. The people in line who needed food were often indistinguishable from the volunteers. Hunger isn't always something you can see. Hungry kids look just like other kids.
Since becoming a father, the idea of a child going hungry is something that makes me want to do everything in my power to help fight the problem. I couldn't imagine being faced with the struggle of wondering where the family's next meals will be coming from, or the heartbreak and anguish that it must cause the parents and children. As the richest country in the world, the problem often goes either unseen or is even ignored. That's why I'm thrilled to join forces with Unilever Project Sunlight and Feeding America to help draw attention to the very serious issue of child hunger in the U.S. with the Share a Meal campaign.
The more I've learned about childhood hunger, the more I'm confident we can together make a difference. And, inspiration can come from people of all ages. Take Josh Williams, my young partner in the Share a Meal campaign. At just five years old, he started the Joshua's Heart Foundation to tackle hunger in his community and has been helping raise food and donations ever since. Now, at the age of 13, he's making a powerful impact by having already donated 650,000 pounds of food and feeding about 50 families weekly. I'm in awe of Josh's dedication and commitment. His story is remarkable, but showcases the powerful impact anyone -- young or old, rich or poor -- can make.
If we don't help our neighbors, who will? While we might know of neighbors in need of help, often we don't. In fact, we usually are not able to tell if a child in your town or in your child's class is hungry. The children who wake up and go to bed hungry often look like every other kid. As part of Unilever Project Sunlight's campaign, famed documentary film maker Patrick Creadon captured the faces of hunger across America in a touching short "Going to Bed Hungry: The Changing Face of Child Hunger." Take a few minutes to check it out and, like me, you may gain a new perspective on the faces of hunger in our country.
Then do something to help. Even the smallest acts can have a huge impact. It's as easy as sharing a meal, which can be done in many ways. Donating or volunteering at a food bank, organizing a food drive, even just cooking a meal for a neighbor -- working together, we can help in the fight against child hunger. For more information on how you can help, click here.