This is the single most important post of the entire year on The Domestic Fringe. Please read it.
We all know the reality of hunger, but many of us have never been hungry for an entire day or more, not knowing where our next meal will come from Unfortunately, many in our communities experience unfulfilled hunger every day.
Today we are discussing an organization designed to fight hunger.
Sometimes, especially around the holidays, we want to make a difference. If we cannot fill a need personally, we’d like to donate to an organization who can, but often we don’t know where to give or how to help.
This interview will introduce you to Hungry For A Day, an organization fighting hunger, filling basic needs, and making a difference.
My guest is Aaron Palmer. We met in college, or maybe just before college. He has exciting opportunities to share with us today, so I’ll simply let you know that my questions for Aaron are in blue. His response follows each questions.
Enjoy! I pray it makes a real difference in each of our lives, so in turn, we can make a difference in someone else’s life.
Linking to Mercy Ink’s Heart & Home Link up.
Aaron, we met many moons ago, but I’d like you to introduce yourself to the readers of The Domestic Fringe. Tell us a little bit about you, your background, and your family.
My background (Aaron) is that I grew up overseas in a military family. My mother is Italian, and my father a retired Army veteran. I graduated from college in Pensacola, FL in 1999 and have lived here since. I have been married for nearly 14 years, have three kids, and have worked mostly in finance since college. I’m an avid fan of sports, the Florida outdoors, church, and family.
My partner and co-founder with Hungry For A Day, David Huey, is an Atlanta native who currently works for a software consulting company and lives in North Atlanta. He met here at college in 1995 in Florida and have been steady amigos since! Most of our interests are similar, and he is married to his wife Cherie, no kids, and two cats. We’ll be traveling up to Tuscaloosa, AL this weekend in fact to watch a football game together.
Hungry For A Day is such a great concept – Those of us who have food choose to go hungry for a day, tally up the cost of the food we would have eaten that day, and then donate the money to your organization. What made you decide to join the fight for hunger in our own country?
Hunger is such a basic need the leaves no one unaffected. As Americans, I think that we kind of turn a blind eye to hunger in our own country. We see the pictures of the kids in other countries, but did you know that nearly 48 million Americans have no idea where their next meal will come from? Most of the people in that statistic are children who just want to live a normal life – play with toys, be loved, go to school, and to be clothed and fed. We looked around and realized that the need is great – in our own country, in our own neighborhoods even!
It was time for us to join the fight.
What does Hungry For A Day do with the donated money? Specifically how does it turn into food that gets into the hands of those in need?
We have what we feel is a very interesting, simple, yet compelling concept. We partner with a supporting organization almost each month to help them with projects to help feed the hungry and homeless. Virtually every dollar collected – through the website, check, cash, merchandise sale, and otherwise – is then given in support of the organization we are helping.
In some cases, H4AD goes out and buys food items to give directly to the distribution. Feeding the hungry is at the core of what we do, but we also helped raise money to help buy a badly needed commercial refrigerator for a food kitchen to help store perishable foods for hundreds of people.
This month in November, we have a couple projects running. One project is that we are partnering with an exciting church to help provide full Thanksgiving meals to needy families. Our goal was to try to feed 40 families. Yesterday alone, we received enough donations to feed 42 families! It’s been exciting to see people fed, lives changed, and God’s grace multiplied to others!
According to your website, h4ad.com, a board of directors oversees Hungry For A Day. Can you tell us a little about them and how they fit into this project?
Our board is very instrumental in helping to steer the direction and oversight of H4AD. Whether it be in the area of budgeting or finance, or overall better defining our corporate vision, our board is instrumental, comprised of a richness of experience and talent that we could not be successful without! We have an annual board meeting where we get together and spend a day strategizing and helping to make H4AD more successful.
To the hungry, food will change their life, even if just for a day. Have you had any feedback from those who have received food?
Our responses have been nothing short of positive, from the organizations that we helped to support, as well as many of the recipients of the food and resources.
In many cases, the responses are “on site” – hugs, handshakes, smiles, warm discussion, etc. We generally don’t receive letters or professional feedback from those that we helped reach, primarily because many of those that we help feed are struggling with basic necessities. In every single case, the organizations that we partnered with say “We can’t wait to do this again!”
What is your vision for Hungry For A Day? What do you dream this organization will accomplish in the future?
Our vision is comprised of many visions. Sure, we’d love to eradicate hunger completely from the United States, and that day may come. We have cast vision is several other areas however: 1) We want to see H4AD expand to all fifty states and beyond, having a direct influence and powerful purpose wherever needed 2) We want to see everyone that is bountifully blessed to be more engaged in giving and helping others. Even if it isn’t through H4AD, but with other worthy organizations, Americans as a whole are blessed and should do a better job helping the needy among them 3) We want to reach the most basic need of all Americans – hunger relief.
Once we have accomplished that, we feel as though the door of opportunity is open to other areas of need – spiritual, professional, and otherwise. If we can’t feed a hungry person, everything else is for naught we feel.
We are dreaming big. Our grand dream is to be the premier, most efficient, most impactful, most wonderfully run charity in America. We’re finishing out year one and have had numerous successes. We’re ready for an even better year ahead!
How can we help? Where do we donate? And, how can we get our friends, communities, churches, and coworkers involved?
How can you help?
Spread the word.
Follow H4AD on Facebook: Hungry For A Day, on Twitter: @HungryForADay and on our website: www.h4ad.com
We have never-ending projects! Especially as we get into the holiday season, the opportunities are so great. We are a 50(c)3 approved charity so all donations are tax deductible!
Donate at www.h4ad.com
If you have a youth group, office, church, or other organization that would like to receive information, we’d love to communicate with them. We’ve been very successful in partnering with projects with a local church this month, and look to build on that experience. Contact us!
Pray for H4AD. We are a 100% volunteer army. Everyone that helps us does so out of the abundance of their great big heart.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to make a difference in his/her community?
Our advice would be to simply become educated, engaged, and involved. There are so many opportunities – find a shelter to volunteer at, start a food closet at your church, support a family at Christmas.
You can also locate statistics about hunger and homelessness in your state that may surprise you. Also, local schools have food programs for children that have no food at home.
Get involved. It is beyond rewarding!