Hunger Action Month at Wesley
Wesley is taking action during September's Hunger Action Month, in all of the organizations which make up what we call "Wesley."
The Wesley Foundation Student Center hosts a free lunch every week for any students who want it. So far this semester Wesley has served 100-150 students at each Friday with Friends lunch. Comments from students, both in the Student Center and at the Wesley Food Pantry, indicate that University of Illinois and Parkland College students experience a higher degree of food insecurity than the general public is aware of.
The Wesley Walkers of Wesley United Methodist Church will again walk to end hunger locally and globally though the Church World Service C-U Crop Hunger Walk. Learn more about walking or sponsoring a walker at https://www.wesleyui.org/post/mark-your-calendars-for-the-2023-crop-hunger-walk.
Through July of 2023, Wesley Food Pantry has provided over 4,400 households with groceries representing a 30% increase over this time last year. Nearly 1,000 of those visits were students using our newest satellite pantry at the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC). For years in trying to provide resources for college students struggling with food insecurity, our biggest obstacle was the stigma surrounding using a food pantry. We’ve seen that wall start to chip away. Our increased numbers likely do not represent a new need - but a new awareness of where to seek out help. All our neighbors, on- and off-campus, are being met with increased costs from housing, tuition, food, school supplies, and utilities.
September is set aside each year to focus on the complex problem of food insecurity. On Hunger Action Day, Wesley Pantry hosted an Open House in the Giving Garden. Our garden itself has produced over 500 lbs. of fresh food for our guests and is part of the Solidarity Gardens, neighborhood gardens who commit to providing fresh produce to the Champaign-Urbana community. Our partnership with Solidarity Gardens and Sola Gratia Farm has provided pantry guests with additional 550 lbs. of produce this summer. This Hunger Action Month, we ask supporters to give thought to the issues surrounding hunger. Below is a list of “food for thought,” titles that get us thinking about low wages, housing insecurity, and racial justice.
Black Food Matters, by Hannah Garth & Ashante M. Reese
Poverty in America, by Matthew Desmond
Evicted, by Matthew Desmond
Big Hunger, by Andrew Fisher
Have a movie night and take in a documentary:
A Place at the Table (Prime Video) Just Eat It (YouTube)
Food Chains (Prime Video) We Feed the World (YouTube)