Happiness vs. Detroit – Child Hunger Ends Here

When was the last time you had to worry about where your next meal was going to come from? How you were going to feed your children? If you should keep the electricity on or put food on the table? Learn how you can be part of the change and step up to fight child hunger in America and in your own community. Let’s not send any kids to school this year hungry. 

I was asked to participate in the #FacesBehindHunger campaign, sponsored by ConAgra Foods. Although I have been compensated, all opinions are my own.  
Detroit  ConAgra Foods Child Hunger Ends Here #FacesBehindHunger #ad

Welcome to Southeast Michigan – home of Detroit, MI.

Welcome to an area where 68% of families are living under the poverty level.

Welcome to an area where 83% of the population lives with food insecurity.

Welcome to an area where 93% of children rely on the school lunch program everyday to eat.

Welcome to an area where 51,300 people show up every week to receive free food. *

And it’s not just Southeast Michigan, food insecurity exists everywhere. So what can we do about it?

Gleaners Food Bank #FacesBehindHunger #ad

Gleaners Food Bank

I decided to take my kids to visit Gleaners Food Bank in downtown Detroit to learn more about their operation. While I was there I also set up an interview with a woman who just a few years ago found herself in a moment of need and instead of thinking of herself and letting it get her down, she pushed herself outward – giving more than ever to those around her by volunteering to set up a mobile food pantry at her sons high school, offering her time to build up the community spirit around her and outpouring of her own food to hungry children she noticed in her own neighborhood. As I listened to her personal story of struggle, my heart broke into several pieces and then became whole again as she offered to me her one piece of advice to the world:

Give. No matter what that looks like for you. No matter how small. Even if it’s just fixing a meal for that same person you see on the streets that’s hungry or somebody you know who’s not able. That would be the one small thing I think. It’s small, but it’s big. -Arlyssa Heard

This was coming from a woman who has had the rug pulled out from underneath her and her family. She, like many other’s in our area, found herself unexpectedly without a job when the economy fell a few years back. People everywhere were waking up to the unknown – staring into the blank face of navigating the bus systems, fumbling through how to buy food on a strict budget or no budget at all and struggling to find happiness in a world that was crashing down around them. When I asked Arlyssa what kept her motivated when it all seemed impossible she replied: 

“My children – I always tell my children, I want you to be a thousand times better than me and I find myself wanting better [for them] on every level – education, financial, better work opportunities, safer neighborhoods. [So for me ] it’s my kids, it’s gotta be. ” – Arlyssa Heard

Arlyssa Heard Hunger Hero #FacesBehindHunger #ad
Arlyssa Heard – My Hunger Hero

As we toured Gleaners Food Bank, I began to notice that what I thought was going to be a sad place was actually just the opposite. There were volunteers working hard to pack boxes, move crates, shuck corn – and each of them were doing it with the biggest smile on their face. Even Arlyssa, who stood here in front of me as part of the statistics, found joy in her situation because she lived a life she believed in.

“Losing my job was probably the best thing to happen to me. I can’t believe I am saying that. But I would have never discovered this other life of helping people and being [a part of a] community – if I hadn’t lost my job.” – Arlyssa Heard

#FacesBehindHunger #ad

Spread Happiness – How to Get Involved

You don’t need to throw your world upside down to find your place in the world of helping others – it is something any of us can do and right now ConAgra Foods has made it easy on us. As part of the Child Hunger Ends Here #FacesBehindHunger” campaign, ConAgra Foods is partnering with each of us to fight food insecurity and childhood hunger in America. You can participate simply by entering the 8 digit code found on the back of your specially push pin marked groceries that you may already be buying for your family into the website When you do this, ConAgra Foods will donate the monetary equivalent of one meal to Feeding America.

One code = one meal to Feeding America!!!

This year, ConAgra Foods’ Child Hunger Ends Here program wants to fight child hunger by reaching their 2015 goal of donating 3 million meals to their partner, Feeding America. Will you help them?

ConAgra Foods #FacesBehindHunger Child Hunger Ends Here #ad
Wonder what food insecurity looks like in your own neighborhood? Visit this interactive map to find out! 
Are you helping to fight food insecurity and child hunger in your community? Tell us about in the comments – we’d love to hear your story. 

* Stats in this article were found at