At the last Closing the Hunger Gap (CTHG) Conference in 2015, representatives of hundreds of food access organizations gathered to declare that charity won’t end hunger. Instead, they called for a radical transformation from charity to justice. They redefined hunger as a problem of economic and racial inequity and reimagined the ways we address hunger.

This year’s conference, themed “From Charity to Solidarity,” promises to be just as revolutionary, especially in the midst of consistent divisive attacks on people in poverty in the current political climate. From September 11 through 13, 2017, hundreds of people from around the country working to eliminate hunger and poverty within their communities will join at the Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center in Tacoma, Washington, just south of Seattle, to learn from other another and strategize next steps in the continuing movement to end hunger. Registration is currently open to secure your participation.

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The 2017 CTHG schedule will inspire and challenge leaders in the anti-hunger movement to question the approach to ending hunger and will provide concrete, collaborative teachings and actions that will continue long after the conference ends. Attendees will choose between interactive sessions on topics including inclusivity and reciprocity in grassroots organizing, racial justice advocacy, the impact of law and policy on anti-hunger work, case studies in sustainable community development and much more.

This year’s keynote speakers are Malik Kenyatta Yakini, founder and Executive Director or the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network, and Beatriz Beckford, experienced grassroots organizer and Campaign Director of MomsRising. They will each share applicable insights from their work and experiences as anti-hunger movement builders.

Before the conference, participants can engage in training on narrative change and tours of innovative groups in the Washington area addressing food insecurity through cross-sector alliances, community farming, culinary training programs, the arts and more. Throughout the conference, attendees can form meaningful partnerships and with peers from across the country through multiple networking and brainstorming sessions.

The conference is hosted by Northwest Harvest and the CTHG National Network and sponsored by WhyHunger and the Northwest Harvest. Anyone interested in or working towards food justice is welcome to join. Please share this information with your peers and register for the 2017 CTHG conference as soon as possible to guarantee your attendance and a discounted conference registration rate. Scholarships are also available for attendees.

Register today for the 2017 CTHG Conference at: https://cthg.regfox.com/conference

While politicians recklessly propose cuts to destroy many of the basic living standards that help working and middle class families get ahead when times are tough or wages aren’t enough, anxiety rises for the already struggling families questioning their safety across the country. Now that summer is here and school is out, for millions of families, the stress multiplies. Summertime means hunger time for the over 21 million children in the U.S. who rely on free and reduced priced school meals during the rest of the year. Every child needs healthy, daily meals to continue learning and growing over the summer. That’s why WhyHunger is once again kicking off our Summer Meals Rock for Kids campaign!

In this critical time when basic necessities, like healthy food for families and children, are on the government’s chopping block, we must capitalize on our existing resources to take a stand and protect our children’s access to healthy food. The USDA’s Summer Food Service Program provides free, nutritious meals to kids at local centers across the U.S., but only 15% of eligible children participate, often due to a lack of awareness and information on where to find summer meals sites. Therefore, WhyHunger’s Summer Meals Rock for Kids campaign distributes information to families across the country to connect them with local resources and prevent hunger. With the largest database of emergency food providers and summer food sites in the country, we can fight the summer spike in childhood hunger and help more kids get the healthy food they need. We need your help to spread the word about these programs to ensure that all children have access to safe, healthy meals when school lets out.

Now more than ever, we must take action to make sure our children have the food they need this summer to grow, learn and thrive.

To find your closest Summer Food Service Program summer meals site:

• Call the WhyHunger Hotline at 1-800-5HUNGRY (1-800-548-6479) for service in both Spanish and English. The hotline is open Monday through Friday, 9:00am to 6:00pm EDT]
• Text “summer” and your zip code to 1-800-548-6479 to get a location within minutes
• Visit whyhunger.org/summermealsearch to find a site online.

And here’s how you can help:

Donate to support WhyHunger's Hotline and online database.
• Spread the word to your network and community by downloading and distributing flyers in English and Spanish at your local community centers, schools and libraries
Add graphics to your blog, website or social media accounts with #SummerMealsRock

You can find these materials and more at: whyhunger.org/summermeals. Thank you for making a difference this summer!

I heard Bill Ayres as a guest DJ on E Street Radio on Sirius & was blow away by what he said about hunger in America. It feels like the hunger crisis in America is accepted or just plain ignored so it’s exciting for me to know that WhyHunger is there to help people in need find food & resources as well as offer support & guidance to artists who want to make a difference.
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