Daylight saving time ends Nov. 7, which means it’s time again to reset our clocks. It also means it’s time to check your emergency stockpile. For years, APHA’s Get Ready: Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks campaign has been asking Americans to check and replenish their emergency supplies when they change their clocks.
This year, the Get Ready campaign is asking Americans to take go a step further and help improve the preparedness of their communities — namely, their community food banks.
Every year, millions of Americans go hungry. In fact, in 2008, more than 49 million Americans lived in households that didn’t have enough food, including 16.7 million kids. Many of those people depend on community food banks to make sure they have enough to eat.
If so many people need food on a regular basis, what happens when a disaster strikes? Unfortunately, history has shown that demand on already-strapped food banks increases when the worst happens. That’s why it’s important that food banks have enough supplies on hand at all times — no one knows when a disaster may happen.
One of the best ways to support your local food bank (besides making a donation or volunteering your time) is to hold a food drive. And thanks to the Get Ready campaign, planning your food drive just got easier. Our new Food Drive Toolkit (PDF) will help you plan, promote, organize and conduct your community food drive. From ideas on when to hold your food drive to ways to make it more interesting (stuff a truck! fill a bag! vote by can!), we’ve got you covered. (And our Q&A with a food bank official has even more tips.)
Our advice? Set your clocks and check your stocks this weekend. Then take some time to download our toolkit and plan your next food drive. After all, being prepared is not just about individuals — it’s about your community too.