This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons Companies & Hunger Is. The opinions and text are all mine.

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Hunger is many things. Many. Sad. Things. Hunger is also, preventable. As a child, I don’t suppose I really understood this. As an adult, I am aware in a way that has me holding back tears every time I pass a “will work for food” sign, see an image like the one above, or toss away the left-overs from one of my children’s dinner plates. Did you know about these statistics?

  1. 10 million children; nearly half of eligible children do not receive free or reduced price school breakfast
  2. 3 out of 5 K-8 public school teachers report regularly seeing students coming to school hungry

My triplets’ elementary school just notified parents that every child can now receive free breakfast without any need to qualify, apply, or otherwise ask for the service. I was so happy, particularly because of statistic number one, above! I’d love to see this in every school in the nation!

I remember being hungry. I know what hunger is. As a child, my family spent time in shelters, homeless in our vehicle, and homeless but pretending to be a normal family, by hiding our homelessness in camp grounds. I was also in foster homes. In all those times, I could not walk over to a fridge and grab something just to oblige a craving. I could not make a cup of hot cocoa to enjoy while cuddled in a blanket on the couch, watching a movie. There was no fridge to walk to. If there was, the food wasn’t ours. When we had our own food, we shared. I can only imagine what those times were like for my mother, while she tried to act like everything was OK. While she tried to believe that everything was OK. Still, we did not know what hunger is, compared to many other families that suffer everyday. For many people, even potable water is a luxury.

Hunger is killing children and families. People often take the position that one-person-can’t-change-the-world. Perhaps. But, none of us are just one person. We are one of billions. We can make a difference, together. While most of us understand this conceptually, we still fail to do our part. It’s not because we are bad people. We’re strapped, too! There are so many causes that it’s hard to prioritize which cause deserves our attention, our time, and our money. Social good organizations are realizing this and making it easier than ever to make a difference!

Safeway will be having a national “Hunger Is” campaign from September 1st through September 30th, 2016 to aid childhood hunger efforts in America. This program is designed to raise awareness and funds to improve healthy outcomes for hungry children and their families; specifically focusing on expanding breakfast programs.

Make Breakfast Happen So Kids Can Be Hungry For More

What I love so much about this program is that it’s easy to support! Thanks to many caring brands that have also partnered with the program, simply by shopping at Safeway and purchasing any of the many products marked with the Hunger Is signs. Purchase of these items in September 2016 will trigger at least $0.10 donation up to $1 million.

You can also donate at the register – you can add $1, $3, or $5, or any $ amount to your purchase. Every dollar counts!

hunger is cocoa at Safeway

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hunger-is-safeway-receiptKids can’t learn when they’re hungry! Let’s BE the change. Be sure to make a point to shop Safeway this month and choose products with the Hunger Is signs. We. Can. Make. A. Difference. In addition to food items that qualify for the Hunger Is program, there are lots of other products, too! You can’t miss the signs.

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Hungry children get sick more often. They take longer to recover. No child should be hungry. Not. One.

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Have you or someone you know ever been hungry? Please share your story in the comments! If we don’t talk about it, we can’t fix it.

For more information on the Hunger Is program, visit: safeway.com/hungerisus. You can also follow Safeway on TWITTER and FACEBOOK!

By: Alicia Gonzalez

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Albertsons Companies & Hunger Is. The opinions and text are all mine.