Mission and History

Our Mission

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.

Our History

In 2016, The New York City Coalition Against Hunger changed its name to Hunger Free America in order to better convey our national anti-hunger programs. During that time, Hunger Free America also intensified our work in New York City, which is being carried out under the name Hunger Free New York City, a division of Hunger Free America.

New York City Coalition Against Hunger History:

By the early 1980s, hunger in New York City had become unbearably severe. Religious organizations and charitable agencies had long served their neighborhoods in relative isolation; despite the heroic efforts of these groups, their ad hoc approach had inherent limitations. Many began to realize that soup kitchens here and there could relieve, but not end, the problem of hunger in New York City. Community leaders from all five boroughs met in April 1983 and concluded that the best way to tackle hunger in the city was with a unified organization that helped emergency food providers and pushed for long-term solutions.

In this spirit, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger was born. The Coalition's original mission was to "coordinate the activities of the emergency food providers in the city so that issues can be identified, prioritized and addressed effectively." Though its aims have expanded and evolved over the last two decades—for example, it has strengthened advocacy and legislative efforts and now provides national service participants to emergency food providers—food access for all New Yorkers has always remained the Coalition's animating goal.