ENDING HUNGER LIFTS US ALL
HUNGER FREE AMERICA –founded in 1983 and formerly called the New York City Coalition against Hunger – is a 501c3 nonprofit group building a bold, grass-roots, non-partisan membership movement in all 50 states to enact the policies and programs necessary to end domestic hunger and ensure that all Americans have sufficient access to nutritious food.
Hunger and food insecurity now harm one in six Americans – and one in five U.S. children. 48 million Americans –and 15 million American children –live in homes that can’t afford enough food. The overwhelming majority of hungry Americans are children, seniors, people with disabilities, veterans, and low-income workers.
This is a national problem that demands a national solution. That’s why, six years ago, the New York City Coalition against Hunger started expanding its program from New York to across the nation, and why it just changed its name.
The organization runs an AmeriCorps VISTA Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps Program that engages 60 Americans in full-time this year (and will engage close to 100 next year), in year-round community service in 29 states from coast-to-coast, who collectively aid tens of thousands of families.
Hunger Free America launched a groundbreaking web portal, www.HungerVolunteer.org to make it easier for people to volunteer across America for high-impact anti-hunger projects. This portal is a state-of-the-art tool to enable Americans anywhere to be more effective when they volunteer.
The organization also manages the National Hunger Clearinghouse and National Hunger Hotline on behalf of USDA. Anyone in the U.S. can call 1-866-3-Hungry to learn where they can access government and private food resources in their local community. Last year the hotline enabled more than 10,000 households, calling from all 50 states, to locate food.
The organization has also doubled-down on its work in its home base, re-branding its local work Hunger Free New York City, which is intensifying its efforts to work to engage low-income families to advocate on their own behalf, reduce food deserts, raise wages, recruit more skills-based volunteers, and increase access to affordable nutritious food.
The group increases access in the city to federal child nutrition assistance programs, including school breakfasts and lunches, summer meals, and the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program.
Benefits Access staff enable local families to enroll in the federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), leveraging millions of dollars each year to fill up grocery carts. It also distributes more than 200,000 Neighborhood Guides to Food & Assistance, which are published in English, Spanish, Chinese & Russian.
The organization also distributes high-quality, sustainably grown, affordable produce though its Farm Fresh Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said "Hunger Free America pushes for innovative, effective ways to end hunger” and the Daily News cited the organization for its “first class advocacy” and “persistent and persuasive voice.”
Joel Berg, the executive director of Hunger Free America, said: “Our new tag line is ‘Ending Hunger Lifts Us All,’ which denotes that, if we succeed in getting all Americans sufficient access to nutritious food, that will lift the nation both spiritually and economically.”