By Michele Iallonardi February 4, 2014
Beginning this month, Macaroni Kid will feature a non-profit organization that we believe should be on the radar of every Macaroni Kid family.

We kick off this new monthly column with Family-to-Family, a national hunger and poverty relief organization. Their mission is to connect families who have enough to share, with other American families who are in need. Through their motto “Share Your Bounty,” Family-to-Family creates a bridge between communities. Founded in 2002 by Pam Koner, Family-to-Family inspires people with more ... to help people with less.

Family-to-Family teaches that everyone can do something - parents, teachers, schools, communities, even kids. The Birthday Giving Project is one of their many programs that emphasizes something kids can understand and do to help other kids. It offers a great way to help children connect and support one another. The Birthday Giving Project is at the same time both incredible and easy. From a child’s perspective, their birthday is one of the most important days of the year. But what about kids whose families don’t have the extra resources for traditional birthday fun? Through Family-to-Family’s program, you can make a birthday box for a child, and make their day as special as they are. It is easy to put together one of these special boxes, which include the birthday basics: cake mix, frosting, candles, a decoration, a book, and a small $5-$10 gift. Any additional goodies are optional. You can connect with a local family and deliver this special gift, or mail it out and remain anonymous. This fun activity is a great way to teach kids to think outside of themselves and their own world, and show them how easy it can be to help others.

Family-to-Family also provides families with food, by directly donating meals, keeping local food pantries stocked, and providing families and communities with the tools necessary to create gardens and raise egg laying chickens. They don’t just nurture hungry bellies, they also nurture hungry minds. They have literacy programs in place to help bring books and learning materials to children and the communities who need them. They also have a pajama program, a doll program, a dress program, a dictionary drive, Closets for Good, community service programs and more. Family-to-Family has something that will interest and inspire anyone who wants to make a difference.

For more information about The Birthday Project and all of the other great programs they offer, visit their website at, ‘like’ them on Facebook,  and follow them on Twitter.