Originally published on The Huffington Post on November 17, 2010.
This week, Feeding America launched a new PSA campaign which features prominent actors and actresses in the roles of people whose circumstances recently forced them to turn to our food banks for assistance. Ana Ortiz, of Ugly Betty, took part in the campaign, as Fernanda — a wife and mother whose doesn’t always know how she’ll feed her children.
Every day my husband, daughter and I nourish our bodies with healthy foods without a thought in our minds of where our next meal is coming from. We may not know what that meal will be but there’s no question that it will happen at our house, a friend or family member’s home or a restaurant.
Like most Americans, I was aware that there are people that rely on assistance from food banks, but it was not until I was approached by Feeding America and the Ad Council to participate in a public service announcement that I was able to comprehend who those people are. They are not all homeless, like so many of us believe, they are our friends, neighbors, colleagues and many have families like we do. The only difference is that they struggle with hunger and rely on the kindness of organizations like Feeding America to give them their next meals.
Recently I was privileged to meet Fernanda Uribe, a mother of three with another on the way. As a new mom, I listened with a heavy heart as she told me her story. Her husband, Angel, was a school teacher until his job was affected by the recent budget cuts. To date the Uribe family had never received any type of public assistance and the thought of doing so was difficult for them to accept. They waited it out thinking that their situation was going to get better, but every new job acquired was eventually cut due to the financial crisis. Eventually they swallowed their pride, for the sake of their children, and reached out to their local food bank for assistance. I gradually realized that her story had to be one of many affecting countless families around the United States.
With a sense of empowerment to motivate Americans to get involved in the fight against hunger, Fernanda and I filmed the PSA. For one day I stood in the shoes of so many facing the question, how will I feed my family today?
With an alarming 50 million Americans, 17 million are children, struggling with hunger we all need to support our local food banks. What role will you play? To find your community food bank go to FeedingAmerica.org. Let’s show compassion to those in our communities that need a helping hand.