How You Can Help

Join the fight against hunger

Apply to be a volunteer here!

SPOON offers several opportunities to get involved. Become a SPOON volunteer and take just 45 minutes each week to transport leftover food from campus eateries to our freezer at the Haas Center. From there, a driver from the Opportunity Center in Palo Alto will pick up the frozen food, taking most of the transportation burden off of time-crunched Stanford students. Joining SPOON's efforts is the perfect way to make an immediate impact on hunger prevention while meeting like-minded individuals.

Interested in a one-time commitment? Organize your favorite group - a capella, dorm, fraternity - and cook breakfast! Find out more at SPOON's Breakfast Cooks page.

Many other local organizations would also love your help. Here are a few:

Ecumenical Hunger Program EHP provides food, clothing, household essentials, social advocacy, and referral services to the East Palo Alto community. Volunteers provide a range of services, including packing food boxes, interviewing clients, sorting food and clothing, and data entry.

Phone: (650) 323 - 7781

Urban Ministry of Palo Alto The Urban Ministry runs several different programs throughout the area, including a homeless drop-in center and food closets.

Phone: (650) 853 - 8697

What else can you do?

Joining the cause comes in many forms - it can be be as big as pursuing a career dedicated to hunger awareness, or as small as clicking a button to donate a cup's worth of food. Read on to learn about top ways you can contribute to the fight against hunger!

Donate money or food Non-profit organizations - local, national, and international, depend on contributions. Many food banks rely heavily on canned food drives. It is estimated that if every person in the United States donated $3.50 - the cost of a large latte - we could cut hunger in sub-Saharan Africa in half by 2015. Bread for the World writes, "The United Nations Development Program estimates that the basic health and nutrition needs of the world's poorest people could be met for an additional $13 billion a year. Animal lovers in the United States and Europe spend more than that on pet food each year." For a listing of some hunger-relief organizations, check out SPOON's links.

Make your homepage ...and your dorm computer cluster's homepage. Make it a habit to "Click to give free food" daily. Instead of paying money to advertise, sponsors pay for food to be given to hungry families from around the world with each click. For a family starving in an underdeveloped country, this could make all the difference.

Choose a career path that involves hunger Non-profit workers, policy-makers, and researchers can address hunger issues every day. Even those in the private sector can make this cause a part of their careers. Engineers and doctors can focus on the needs of the hungry and malnourished across the world. Many of the hungry and malnourished across the world are vulnerable to diseases and have specific public health needs, while websites like demonstrate how technology can be used to help reduce world hunger.

Help elect officials who care about hunger Good policy can help to alleviate hunger. Although hunger is often not on the public agenda, with increased advocacy it can be. Petitions and phone calls to representatives help. Writing editorials in your local paper will increase awareness as well as put pressure on elected officials.

Host Hunger Banquets in your dorm or house The Oxfam Hunger Banquet directly engages participants in a dramatization of the unequal distribution of resources and wealth in the world. Each guest draws a ticket randomly assigning them to the high-, middle- or low-income tier and is served a corresponding meal. The 15 percent in the high-income tier are served a sumptuous gourmet feast The 30 percent in the middle-income section eat a simple meal of rice and beans. The majority 55 percent in the low-income tier wait in line for small portions of rice and water. The Oxfam Hunger Banquet is a powerful tool that brings to life the inequalities in our world and challenges us, as the more economically fortunate, to realize how our decisions affect others in the world. Few leave a Hunger Banquet with full stomachs, but all leave filled with a greater understanding of the problems of global hunger and poverty and the motivation to do something about it. Source:

Reduce your food waste in dining halls Take only as much food as you will eat. The amount of food thrown away by students is enormous: in just one Stanford Dining Hall, FloMo, over 1,000 pounds of food was wasted by students weekly! Collectively, this waste has disastrous effects. If left unused, food can be salvaged by organizations like SPOON. In addition, more student waste results in higher meal plan costs. As dining halls buy less food, it can free up food resources for the hungry.

Lastly, promote awareness among friends and family Remind your friends not to waste food at the dining halls. Encourage discussions about poverty and hunger issues. Any small thing you do to raise awareness can translate into a big help.