It’s been common parlance and oft-quoted since the 1700s that nothing in life is certain but death and taxes. In mid-April, along with the fact that the weather seems entirely disinclined to warm up this year, the sweet sting of income tax return season is especially prominent. The good news is, you’re adulting pretty hard lately. The current administration’s war against itemized deductions has left you with a modest refund, but you no longer count on that for your quality of life. The bad news is, the current administration. And taxes. And everything associated with those two things.
If this year’s tax return filing process has you feeling salty for whatever reason, respond with something sweet. While the mega-rich leader of the free world performs blatant acts of sacrilege on undeserving steaks, hunger is a worldwide epidemic that goes hand-in-hand with poverty. As a form of silent protest, try an act of philanthropy this year by donating your refund to one of these eight local, regional, or international hunger relief nonprofit charities, where contributions go directly to helping those most in need across borders and age groups:
No Kid Hungry is a national organization dedicated to solving childhood hunger in America through several school-based programs such as school breakfast, summer meals, and after-school meals. Food skills education and advocacy programs also help to empower families outside of the school day. This is a popular charity among chefs and restaurateurs who can offer special dining events as a means of fundraising. Donate to No Kid Hungry.
As the largest among hunger-based charitable organizations in America, formerly America’s Second Harvest, one of Feeding America’s primary focuses is on reducing food waste. The staggering fact is that there is more than enough food to feed everyone in this country, but waste and access are the biggest obstacles to doing that. Through food banks and partnerships that focus on the recovery of food otherwise destined for the trash, Feeding America rescued 3.5 billion pounds of food in 2018 that went directly to feeding those who most need it. Donate to Feeding America.
Built on the “teach a man to fish” principle with a bovine angle, this 75-year-old charity began as an effort by a Midwestern farmer to provide livestock, rather than just food supplies, to impoverished, war-torn communities as a means of feeding themselves long-term. With livestock still at the heart of the operation, Heifer International’s programs aim to teach sustainable farming practices, increase market access for small farms, and empower women. Donate to Heifer International.
Increases in life expectancy and of geographic distribution among families means that more senior citizens in America are living alone, often with mobility and mental health issues that are common with advancing age. Meals on Wheels aims to address not only hunger but also loneliness, with volunteers providing socialization as well as nutritious food to low-income seniors. Donate to Meals on Wheels.
Biodiversity International is a research-driven organization that aims to provide adequate calories through staple grains to the earth’s estimated 2050 population of 9 billion souls. Here’s a place to put your money where your mouth is if your concerns are both with the health of the citizens of this planet and of the planet itself. Current initiatives aim to reduce global malnutrition, adapt agriculture for climate change, establish healthy diets from sustainable food systems, and help to maintain and grow resilient farms, forests, and landscapes. Donate to Biodiversity International.
Action Against Hunger is a global humanitarian organization with a strong presence in countries suffering from war and other humanitarian disasters. They aim to treat the causes of hunger, offering assistance and empowering individuals and communities by helping develop clean water and food sources, and also offering training and healthcare. Donate to Action Against Hunger.
The homeless and low-income population of New York City is the focus of this 35-year-old charity that was founded in response to a growing need for emergency food assistance. Their mission states an effort to end hunger by “organizing food, information and support for community survival, empowerment, and dignity.” Strategy and innovation are central to achieving the goal of ending hunger in New York through multi-faceted means including distribution of resources, income support, and nutrition education. Donate to Food Bank for New York City.
At the intersection of hunger and women’s agency and empowerment is Freedom from Hunger. Recently partnered with the Grameen Foundation, this charity focuses their efforts on enabling the poor, and primarily poor women, to end hunger in their communities. Programs and partnerships focus on building empowering ecosystems for women in poor rural areas, which include engagement with the local agricultural market, knowledge and training, gender equity, and peer support. Donate to Freedom from Hunger.
Also explore these products that give back when you buy them.
Header image courtesy of Shutterstock.