Connect Blog

WhyHunger has teamed up with concert voter registration organization, HeadCount, to bring voter registration drives to local food pantries across the U.S. in order to make it easier for their community members to vote. HeadCount traditionally hosts pop-up voter registration drives at over 1,000 concerts a year where their usual target audience is millennials. This summer, they saw an opportunity to partner with WhyHunger and their food access partners as natural extension of their mission to reach folks whose voices are too often left out of the political process.

Recently, we caught up with Executive Director of HeadCount, Andrew Bernstein, as he and the HeadCount team were setting up the voter registration table at a local NYC organization that partners with WhyHunger, New York Common Pantry. We asked Andrew why partnering up with food pantry locations could turn into a soon permanent direction for HeadCount’s mission; “HeadCount was founded on the idea that if you want to see change in the world, then you have to do something about it. And the very first thing anyone can do is vote. This is a sacred right and if we don’t use it, we can’t complain…The energy that we’ve managed to organize in the music community, [making sure concert goers are registered to vote], to use that and go beyond the music community…Coming to a food pantry is the next step in the natural evolution, and is honestly far more important here than we could ever do at a concert.”

And the team at New York Common Pantry echoed the connection between voter registration and their work to end hunger and build food justice.

“We understand that food insecurity is part of a larger issue, which is poverty. In order to address the dynamics that perpetuate poverty, we need elected officials willing to listen and work to fix systems in the immediate and the long term to alleviate food insecurity,” explained Daniel Reyes, Deputy Executive Director at New York Common Pantry. “By providing the space for partners like WhyHunger and Head Count to register potential voters we are actively manifesting our mission to alleviate hunger across NYC. Our members and guests are empowered to use their vote to select candidates who will fight for the issues that are dear to them, including alleviating food insecurity.” 

Both WhyHunger and HeadCount believe in making sure that every voice is heard, and that no one is left out. Bernstein summed up the importance of these types of partnership best, “We are able to meet people who are often not addressed and not reached by campaigns to get them involved -- people who maybe feel they don’t have a voice, maybe people who have the most at stake.” Essentially, this partnership helps to increase the voices of those who matter the most during election time.

Friday, October 14th is the last day to make sure registration forms are in for New York. You can register to vote here or check for your state’s final voter registration day here.

What has the USDA’s School Breakfast Program (SBP) done for American children in its 50 years of existence? Find out in this new report by Janet Poppendieck, activist, author, professor emerita at Hunter College and WhyHunger Board Member as she examines the history, challenges, policy gains and role of advocacy in shaping the program on its 50th anniversary. What we know for sure is that this program has provided nutritious food to millions of kids in the US. Since SBP was established, the Average Daily Participation has grown from about 80,000 in the first year of operation to 14,900,000 last year....

What You Can Do To Help End Hunger

Last weekend our Senior Director of Programs, Alison Cohen, sat down with ABC7 News Chicago to talk about five ways we can all have an impact in ending hunger both during the holidays and throughout the year: 1. Power up your Food Drive! Instead of a canned food drive, consider collecting financial contributions to make your dollar go farther and your contribution healthier. 2. Volunteer in October…or February! Many people like to volunteer on Thanksgiving or Christmas, but food banks and soup kitchens need dedicated volunteers and volunteers with specialized skills year-round. 3. Step into the Garden! Volunteer your time and talents or...
This month the federal government released two reports which show success as well as challenges for the food justice movement. Real impact has been made in reducing food insecurity and poverty over the past two years. But pre-existing food and economic injustice remains and despite improvements most Americans are poorer and hungrier than before the recession. These recent gains are being lauded as the work of a strengthening economy, but it isn’t just the shifting of markets and decisions of politicians that brought this about. Grassroots organizations, progressive allies and social movements have been working for years to change our...
"Everything the people have comes through struggle." WhyHunger supported the Assembly of the Poor (AOP) through our International Solidarity Fund and went on a site visit to learn from the villagers about their struggle and how they are fighting for food sovereignty. Below is a personal account and pictures from Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau's experience.  When the peasants in Chongtuko village were forced out of their homes and off their farms in 1993, they had nowhere to go. The Thai military wanted their land to use as a training field, and the villagers did not know how to solve their problem. After years...
WhyHunger partner Community to Community Development (C2C) and the Familias Unidas por la Justicia (FUJ) just announced an important victory in their struggle against Driscoll’s Berries to achieve farmworker justice for the workers at Berry Farm. We congratulate them on this win and look forward to more!  Here is the announcement:   Today, 9/22,...

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This post first appeared in The Huffington Post. Doctor Norman Borlaug the Father of the Green Revolution founded the World Food Prize in 1986 to promote the work of scientists and agricultural organizations that promote the production of food through technology. Over the years the prize has been given to dozens...

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There are few things meant to be as fundamentally universal, as natural and unwavering as human rights. Here in the U.S. we hold these basic, inalienable rights at our core. We’ve used a framework of rights to found a nation, to build our political systems and to develop a shared...

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This spotlight is a feature of WhyHunger’s digital storytelling that showcases grassroots organizations and community leaders through dynamic stories and pictures, to give a real view of projects that are working to alleviate food insecurity and increase communities’ access to nutritious food. We believe that telling one’s story is not...

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This post first appeared in The Huffington Post. How can the richest country in the history of the world that has an abundance of food have so many hungry people? Who are they? How can we change this grave injustice? Even after a substantial recovery from the Great Recession we still have...

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Welcome to WhyHunger’s Connect Blog featuring stories, projects and articles from the community-based organizations, organizers and social movements that are building the movement for food justice.

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