Panache Party Rentals, "Effects of the Current Funding Cuts... Require our Community to Step Up and Take Action"

According to Global Finance, the United States is the seventh wealthiest country in the world, sitting just behind Hong Kong and before the United Arab Emirates.

Last year, 49 million Americans -- 14.5 percent of the total population -- lived in food insecure households; that included 15.9 million children and 33.1 million adults.

To jump in and help where Congress is not, some local businesses are taking it upon themselves to see that the local residents are getting support. Panache Party Rentals has started a campaign to raise money and awareness on hunger in the region.

See also: What the Government Shutdown Means for Your Food

To build hunger awareness and assist in aiding the hungry in South Florida, the company is painting its rental units orange to represent Share Our Strength and Feeding South Florida. With each unit rented, Panache will donate a portion of the proceeds to No Kid Hungry, which could support as many as 100 meals per rental.

Starting in November and lasting through the end of the year, the campaign's goal is to raise $25,000 or 250,000 meals for the hungry.

"Our goal was to enlighten clients and colleagues about the hunger issues in this country and in their backyards. Children, those less fortunate and elderly face hunger on a daily basis," said Murphy, a veteran participant in Share our Strength for more than two decades. "Effects of the current funding cuts to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program, and the current government shutdown gravely impact anti-hunger efforts and require our community to step up and take action."

Last week the company kicked off the campaign by inviting more than 180 guests, representing more than 50 local companies to its first-ever Set an Extra Place at the Table at its Pompano Beach facility. Prompted by Panache co-founder Kelly Murphy, the event was the launch of the new anti-hunger campaign to benefit the organizations and bring light to the severity of hunger in the United States.

Top Chef finalist and Sundy House executive chef Lindsay Autry and Blue Moon Fish Co.'s Bryce Statham led local chefs through a family-style dinner.

"Hunger in our country is a solvable problem. We certainly have the food but not necessarily the easiest access," explained Murphy. "One in five children will go to bed hungry each night. In South Florida the average is one in four children. This is where hunger may be invisible as it could be the family next door "

To learn more about hunger in South Florida, visit feedingsouthflorida.org. For information on Share Our Strength and No Kid Hungry, visit nokidhungry.org.

Follow Sara Ventiera on Twitter, @saraventiera.

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