While we're all excited to go home for the holidays, see our families, and eat mountains of food, it's important to remember that not everyone has that luxury.

Food insecurity is especially prevalent around the holidays, and there is a greater strain on food banks due to the pandemic. Here are a few ways to help battle food insecurity this holiday season.

candy, sweet, peppermint, Candy cane, holiday
Jocelyn Hsu

1. Volunteer At Your Local Food Pantry

Volunteering is something you can do year-round, wherever you go to school as well as in your hometown. There are several ways to get involved, from sorting and distributing food to advertising food drives to collecting donations.

Contact a nearby food pantry to see what they need the most assistance with and how you can be of the greatest help.

2. Coordinate A Food Drive

People tend to have tons of leftover canned goods around the holidays. Coordinate a day for a drop-off and then send the donations to your local shelter or food pantry. This is a great community bonding experience to help everyone get in the spirit of giving.

3. Run For A Cause

There are a bunch of different virtual and in-person running events that can help raise money to fight hunger, such as the TD Bank Virtual 5k for Rise Against Hunger. Move for Hunger also has a race team that participates in tons of events, from 5ks to marathons, to fundraise for Move for Hunger food drives and food rescues. This is a way to stay active and still support some great causes, and you can do it with friends and family to make it even more fun!

vegetable, pepper, tomato
Emmrick Mc

4. Donate or Volunteer

There are a ton of organizations that help individuals and families fight food insecurity. Here are a few that you can either donate to or volunteer at:

Project Bread - connects people and communities in Massachusetts to reliable sources of food while advocating for policies that make food more accessible—so that no one goes hungry.

Feeding America food banks - secures and distributes 4.3 billion meals each year through food pantries and meal programs throughout the United States and leads the nation to engage in the fight against hunger. Through their website, you can find a local food bank to volunteer at or donate to.

Move for Hunger - helps fight food waste and hunger by helping people donate food when they move, but there are plenty of ways to get involved even if you're not moving! They also host fundraisers, food drives, and advocacy events.

5. Join a Club

The Food Recovery Network at Northeastern is a club dedicated to donating surplus food to local Boston shelters. This is another great way to help battle food insecurity year-round.

If your university doesn't have a similar club, or there's another aspect of food insecurity you would like to address, creating a new club is a great way to draw attention to your cause and connect with other people who have similar goals.

Remember that every little bit counts, however you decide to help!