HUNGER FREE AMERICATM (formerly known as the New York City Coalition Against Hunger) is a nonpartisan, national nonprofit group working to enact the policies and programs needed to end domestic hunger and ensure that all Americans have sufficient access to nutritious food.
We are both a direct service and advocacy organization — with each component strengthening the other. As a direct service provider, we assist low-income families obtain aid from government programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — formerly called the Food Stamp program — and the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program so that people struggling to pay their bills have access to nutritious food. We also connect families nationwide with private food resources. Because our staff works daily on the front lines of hunger, and because we empower low-income people to speak out on their own behalf, that makes us one of the nation's most effective advocates for improved economic and public policies.
"The work that NYCCAH does to fight against food insecurity is so important to our communities, and I am proud to have partnered with them over the years to help protect vital food benefits and ensure families at risk have access to food. Hunger Free America will continue NYCCAH's legacy by pushing for innovative, effective ways to end hunger, like the new hunger volunteer website and the hunger hotline. I look forward to working with Hunger Free America to help families in New York and across the country put food on the table." - U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
“Every day across this country, millions of America families struggle to put food on the table. The only way we can change this is by building strong coalitions of national, state, and local leaders to stand up for these families and I know that Hunger Free America will be a powerful part of that work. I've had the pleasure of working with NYCCAH over the years and I have no doubt Hunger Free America will continue their passionate work to give a voice to families in need and end hunger across this county. I look forward to working with Hunger Free America." - Congressman Jim McGovern, co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Hunger Caucus
"(Hunger Free America is) one of the leading direct service and advocacy organizations on hunger and poverty in the nation” - The Nation
“If you want to support first-class advocacy to combat hunger, go with the NYC Coalition Against Hunger [now known as Hunger Free America], a persistent and persuasive voice on the ways and means to have fewer people go to bed on an empty stomach.”
- Errol Louis, The New York Daily News
Advocacy, Research, and Policy: Our advocacy team is a voice for millions who struggle against U.S. hunger. One of the most effective and courageous advocacy groups in the nation, we work directly with elected officials on the city, state, and federal levels to advance policies to end hunger and promote economic justice. We played a key role in beating back Trump and House G.O.P. proposals to take billions of dollars in nutrition assistance away from millions of children, seniors, working people, veterans, people with disabilities, and unemployed people. We also conduct ground-breaking research and publish cutting-edge reports that propose bold – yet concrete and realistic – solutions to hunger and poverty.
AmeriCorps VISTA: Our AmeriCorps VISTA teams, operating across 24 states with 41 members in 2018, enable participants to serve the country while fighting hunger. In 2018, VISTAs recruited 1,691 volunteers and helped 3,014 households enroll in SNAP.
Benefits Access: Our team works to connect low-income New Yorkers with benefits to access food across all five boroughs. Our staff screens individuals for federal nutrition assistance programs, and helps them through the application and recertification process. Our VISTA program also increases access to nutrition benefits nationwide. Our Benefits Access team connected more than 3,000 low-income New Yorkers with benefits to access food across four of the five boroughs. We also distributed more than 200,000 free Neighborhood Guides to Food and Assistance to over 550 agencies in 2018.
Child Nutrition: Our child nutrition program works to ensure that every child in America has access to sufficient, nutritious food. By increasing participation in free summer meals and school breakfasts, we connect kids with the food they need in order to grow and thrive. We led successful efforts to get New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo to propose – and the State Legislature to enact into law – a mandate for all high-needs schools to serve breakfasts in first-period classrooms. As a result, hundreds of thousands of additional children state-wide will receive healthy breakfasts every school day.
Food Action Board (FAB): Our pioneering FAB program empowers low-income community members to fight for their own futures and build the anti-hunger movement by helping them develop their leadership, advocacy, and community organizing skills. FAB Members take on key positions and leadership roles in efforts at the city, state, and federal levels aimed at promoting food security and economic opportunity. In the past year, Hunger Free America has worked with 60 community members in five different under-resourced neighborhoods throughout New York City to fight for their own futures and build the anti-hunger movement by helping them develop their leadership, advocacy, and community organizing skills.
Strategic Volunteerism Program: Our ground-breaking Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service initiative connects people and groups with skills-based and high-impact volunteer opportunities that make the biggest difference in the national fight against hunger. Our newly launched web site, HungerVolunteer.org, offers hunger organizations and the public innovative strategies and tools for engaging volunteers in effective activities to build the capacity of nonprofit groups, increase participation in government nutrition assistance programs, and advocate for improved economic and governmental policies.
USDA Clearinghouse: Our USDA National Hunger Hotline is a resource for individuals and families seeking information about how to obtain emergency food. The Hotline staff connects callers with emergency food providers in their community, government assistance programs, and various social services such as SNAP, WIC, and Summer Meals. Working under contract from the federal government, in 2018, we enabled more than 20,000 individuals and families to access non-profit and government food resources.