What Does it Mean to Be Socially Engaged?
Social engagement. Social responsibility. These terms have become major buzzwords of the 21st century—they’re even “trendy,” if you will. Businesses publicly pursue the concept; high schools work it into senior projects; and individuals champion it on social media. But before our society gets too comfortable with this concept, we need to determine: what exactly does it mean to be socially engaged?
Social engagement is a critical part of the Maryland Food Bank’s mission. We are leading a movement—the movement to end hunger in Maryland—and without true social engagement, that movement is meaningless.
The dictionary defines the word engage as:
- to participate or become involved in. (organizations engage in a variety of activities)
- to establish a meaningful contact or connection with. (the teams needed to engage with local communities)
- (of a part of a machine or engine) to move into position so as to come into operation. (the clutch will not engage)
For years, we’ve sought to define social engagement on a level deeper than semantics—through meaningful interactions with longtime food bank supporters and the people we serve. And one thing has become crystal clear.
For social engagement to truly exist, it must stem from a mindset—an ongoing commitment that invisibly drives a person to act.
When it comes to the issue of fighting hunger, the mindset is universal.
That’s because hunger touches everyone. Behind every pillar of our society—healthcare, education, safety, and employment—the challenge of hunger looms.
Hunger closes doors. It weakens communities. And, right now, it directly impacts 1 in 7 Marylanders. The issue is widespread, it is dire, and it demands attention.
So what actions can a socially engaged Marylander take to fight hunger?
For years the Maryland Food Bank has been pushed forward by the commitment of our supporters—from the volunteers that pack the food in our warehouse to the individuals and corporations who have provided the food and funds necessary to feed our neighbors.
In addition to these critical actions, we’re asking Marylanders to join the movement and get engaged in other ways.
- Educate yourself. The facts are hard to ignore. In the richest state in the country, 1 in 7 people are hungry. Sign up for our enewsletter for occasional updates about hunger in Maryland and explore our website to find out more about the issue.
- Lend a hand. Dedicate some time to working with the Maryland Food Bank or a local food pantry in your community. Mobilize friends to collect food to donate to the food bank. And keep your eyes peeled for the launch of an all-new virtual food drive AND advocacy action center—coming soon!
- Share your stories. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and give us a shout! Let’s start an intelligent conversation about hunger—and spread the word statewide: we are leading a movement to end hunger.
With Hunger Action Month just around the corner, there’s no better time to get engaged in the fight against hunger.
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