It may not be noticeable to the naked eye, but if you take a closer look, you’ll soon learn that more than 46 million Americans live in poverty every day (Source: povertyusa.org). It’s a heart breaking reality that though America is the land of opportunity, it still suffers from such brokenness as poverty.

The statistics are staggering and quite painful, but even in the darkest hour, there is hope. Here is a list of ten organizations and communities that are not only shedding light on the issue, but also working hard to bring healing to those in America and around the world.

1. Kiva
A non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Learn more about how it works. 100% of every dollar you lend on Kiva goes directly towards funding loans; Kiva does not take a cut. Furthermore, Kiva does not charge interest to our Field Partners, who administer the loans. Get involved.
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2. Feeding America
Feeding America is a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, they provide food to more than 37 million people through 61,000 food pantries, soup kitchens, and shelters in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people they serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. With such a great organization, together we can all solve hunger. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit feedingamerica.org.
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3. Poverty USA
Poverty USA is an initiative of the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. CCHD is the domestic anti-poverty program of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, working to break the cycle of poverty by helping people help themselves. Each year CCHD distributes national grants to more than 200 organizations developed by grassroots groups of low-income persons, working in dioceses throughout the country. Since its beginning, CCHD has provided more than 9,000 grants nationwide. Learn more.
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4. Meals on Wheels Association of America
Senior hunger in America is a monumental problem.  The latest research reveals 8.8 million seniors in the United States faced the threat of hunger.  Looking at the numbers, it is easy to become discouraged. Looking at the people whom the numbers represent, however, impels us to action and helps develop our plan.  Because of the magnitude of the problem, we know that we cannot solve it overnight or with a single project or initiative. Learn more and make an impact.
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5. End Poverty 2015
End poverty by 2015. This is the historic promise 189 world leaders made at the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000 when they signed onto the Millennium Declaration and agreed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs are an eight-point road map with measurable targets and clear deadlines for improving the lives of the world’s poorest people. World leaders have agreed to achieve the MDGs by 2015. The United Nations Millennium Campaign supports and inspires people from around the world to take action in support of the Millennium Development Goals. Join the UN Millennium Campaign and be part of the generation that puts an end to poverty.
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6. No Kid Hungry
Nearly 1 in 5 children in America are at risk of hunger, and while their hunger is invisible, the solution is not. No Kid Hungry along with community members seeks to end child hunger in America. Share Our Strength® is a national organization that works hard to make sure no kid in America grows up hungry. They weave together a net of community groups, activists and food programs to catch children facing hunger and surround them with nutritious food where they live, learn and play.
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7. Food Bank for New York City
There are 2.6 million New Yorkers who experience difficulty affording food — an astounding number and one that continues to increase as the donated food supply drops to an all-time low and food costs skyrocket. To address this issue, Food Bank procures and distributes food to a network of more than 1,000 community-based member programs citywide, helping to provide 400,000 free meals a day for New Yorkers in need.  Learn more and get involved here.
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8. American Poverty
AmericanPoverty.org is a non-profit alliance of photojournalists using visual storytelling to raise awareness about “how the other half lives.” Joining us are renowned American writers, filmmakers and educators, all of whom seek to alleviate poverty and make it a national priority. Their philosophy is that, together we are working to dispel stereotypes and encourage actions that can create lasting impact in the lives of disadvantaged people.
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CARE is a global poverty-fighting organization with an emphasis on women’s empowerment. Their mission is to serve individuals and families in the poorest communities in the world. Drawing strength from our global diversity, resources and experience, we promote innovative solutions and are advocates for global responsibility.
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10. Oxfam International
Oxfam America is a global organization working to right the wrongs of poverty, hunger, and injustice. They save lives, develop long-term solutions to poverty, and campaign for social change. As one of 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation, we work with people in more than 90 countries to create lasting solutions. Learn more and get involved here.
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Please continue the conversation by sharing how you are fighting poverty and the organizations you support.

Photo credit: Hands On Blog

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