Guest Author | Danon Hare, Harvesters Food + Program Manager
September is #HungerActionMonth, and lately I’ve been doing some reflecting on how we, as a community, can continue working together toward shared goals.
In November, I’ll be entering my 14th year of service to this community through Harvesters–The Community Food Network, and I’ve worn many hats throughout my career. During my time as a volunteer coordinator, I’ve hosted volunteer groups that range from at-risk youth needing a hobby to corporate groups that take a paid day of service to make a meaningful impact outside of their regular jobs. When I transitioned from this role to Harvesters’ BackSnack and School Pantry coordinator, the amount of community partners that wanted to help out their local schools by providing clothing, school supplies, extra snacks and even financial support through charitable donations was staggering.
Fast forward to now where I’m entering my first year as Food + Program Manager, I’m working in collaboration with health care organizations to distribute ‘Food as Medicine’ food boxes to patients at check-ups, partnering with Literacy KC, Kansas City Public Library and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority(KCATA) to promote adult literacy and distribute lunches and groceries at local bus-stops, and leveraging partnerships in the workforce development field to provide on-site pantries for students going through job training.
At Harvesters, we know that food is not the only way to end hunger and that these partnerships are integral to our mission to mobilize the power of our community to create equitable access to nutritious food and address the root causes and impact of hunger.
Being an Impact 100 partner with United Way of Greater Kansas City, and with support from Feeding America, we can continue to innovate our approaches to address the social drivers of health. As a food bank, we can’t solve hunger alone. It takes all of us working together with strong partners, volunteers and advocates to achieve real-time solutions to our community’s most pressing needs.
I thought my first year here at Harvesters was exciting, but little did I know how engaging and challenging Year 14 would be! Join our mission by giving your own time, voice and dollars we can #EndHunger.