We have been very fortunate since launching SpicesInc.com back in 2008. While we know that we live in the greatest country in the world, we also recognize that our country is far from perfect. Our elected officials spend a tremendous amount of our valuable resources (our trust in them to do the right thing and our tax dollars) allowing themselves to be swayed by lobbyists and of course spending much of their time either lining their own pockets or twisting themselves into whichever manner possible just to get re-elected.
Meanwhile, out here in the real world too many of our country’s children and seniors are not getting enough to eat and often go to bed hungry. What would you do if this was happening to your kids or your grandmother?
Our families taught us that those who have worked hard and achieved a certain level of success have an obligation to help those that are struggling the most. As a small family run business, we believe that it is our moral responsibility to give back*.
The Sobering Facts
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported in September of 2017 that 12.3 percent of American households remained food insecure – meaning that 1 in 8 households in the United States had difficulty at some time during the year with providing enough food for all members. Although figures have improved since the peak of food insecurity in 2011, following the Great Recession of 2008, the numbers of people living with chronic food insecurity are still above the pre-recession numbers. This is not good enough.
According to the USDA, more than 41 million Americans face hunger, including nearly 13 million children. Some of the groups experiencing the highest rates of food insecurity include households with children led by single mothers and people living below the poverty line. Poverty and food insecurity go hand in hand, as often the choice is to eat or have a roof over your head. About a quarter of food-insecure households report incomes that make them ineligible for any form of federal food assistance. Those incomes are supposed to be able to provide adequate food supply, but clearly this is not the case.
About the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank has been feeding hungry families in 27 counties all over Pennsylvania for over thirty years. In the 2016 fiscal year alone they provided more than 40 million meals to impoverished families. Over 900 soup kitchens, shelters, and food pantries rely on the Central Pennsylvania food bank for supplies. This food bank is also one of the members of Feeding America. Originally called America's Second Harvest, Feeding America is our country’s largest charitable domestic hunger-relief organization. Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that are deeply imbedded on the frontline of the fight against hunger in the United States. They distribute food and grocery items through food pantries and meal programs that serve families, children, seniors and individuals at risk of hunger.
The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank distributes more than 48 million pounds of food per year. They are particularly aware of the problems faced by children and seniors who do not receive adequate and nutritious food. When a child does not receive the proper food they need to grow, their bodies suffer, and their education can even be affected. Hungry children have a hard time paying attention in school, and sometimes must miss school because they have developed illnesses from being malnourished. This is a cycle that is hard to beat without the help of food banks.
Why We Chose the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank
The Charity Navigator is the nation's largest and most-utilized evaluator of charities. In their quest to help donors, their team of professional analysts has examined tens of thousands of non-profit financial documents and use this knowledge to develop an unbiased, objective, numbers-based rating system to assess over 8,000 of America's best-known and some lesser known, but worthy, charities.
According to the Charity Navigator, The Central Pennsylvania Food Bank currently has a score of 98.23 out of a possible 100 points. This high score is possible because the Central PA Food Bank’s expenses are 96.9% spent on the programs and services it delivers, with its Executive Director earning reasonable wages instead of an insane amount of money. The bottom line is that more of the money they raise gets directly utilized by those that need it the most, instead of padding pockets where it has no use.
We know we can’t just sit by and do nothing, so we are going to be part of the solution.
*Starting in January of 2018 Spices, Inc. will donate 2% of our profits to the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank.