There are countless faces of hunger - perhaps someone you know.
For the past 25 months the highest volume of calls each month to United Way's 211 has been for food programs and resources.
In November, United Way of Inner Wisconsin convened a conversation about hunger in our communities. The result has been subsequent monthly meetings to discuss how to fill the void. We are in the process of forming a Hunger Coalition; an initiative of United Way, in partnership with local businesses, government and nonprofit organizations; coming together to tackle this very complex issue.
It has been a great experience to gather a diverse group of community members and engage in dialogue to help everyone understand the food programs serving our community and brainstorming ways that we can work together to ensure a smooth delivery of service to those who need it.
What we know is that children are coming to school hungry Monday morning and seniors are choosing between nutritious meals and the prescriptions they need with countless other examples in between. Fighting hunger is much more complex than just providing nutritious food, there are other root causes that need to be identified and addressed.
If your business or organization is interested in learning more about the Hunger Coalition, please join us at our next meeting from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 28 at River Cities Bank, 1601 Lincoln St., Wisconsin Rapids, in the lower level.
As a community we need to work together to fill the emptiness.
Tari Jahns is chief executive officer of the United Way of Inner Wisconsin.