Pennies have a way of sinking to the bottom of purses, slipping between sofa cushions and often end up discarded in parking lots. But even spare change can make a big impact. American Pennies for Hunger Inc. is a nonprofit foundation with the mission of collecting pennies (and dollars) to feed adults, children, families, seniors and veterans experiencing chronic hunger. Founder Wendy Hinden remembers sitting in a restaurant back in 2008 with her children and talking about how much food was left on their plates, about to be thrown away. As their discussion broadened to the topic of all types of waste, one of her children observed that some people throw pennies away. That was her trigger for action.
The Provincetown resident realized that being hungry—really hungry—is an experience that many people can’t even imagine. Food insecurity (the term for chronic hunger) isn’t the pang that hits when you forgot to eat. It’s constant uncertainty about where your next meal will come from. It’s a condition that affects one in eight people in over 375,000 households in Massachusetts.
Over $120,000 has been raised since APFH was founded and every penny has helped provide thousands of meals through hunger relief agencies across Southeastern Massachusetts. The foundation’s administrative costs are sponsored and prizes for fundraising events are donated.
Donations are collected by check and PayPal and by collecting the change dropped into canisters at area businesses like The Market at The Pinehills and Collections on Court in Plymouth. On November 11 there will be a fashion show fundraiser to benefit APFH at Collections on Court, located at 2 Court Street, Plymouth.
For more information or to make a donation to help fight chronic hunger, click here or send a check to APFH at Box 6272, Plymouth, MA 02362. —Deborah Cornwall