Connect Blog

Hunger and food insecurity affect 1 in 7 Americans today. Those affected by hunger are three times more likely to have diet related health problems like diabetes or hypertension. At WhyHunger, we support grassroots organizations working at the intersections of health and hunger. That’s why we’re excited to share this video highlighting the innovative programs at Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger (BSCAH).

BSCAH hosts an array of projects that tackle the root causes of hunger including a “VeggieRx” program. Through a partnership with the Addabbo Family Health Center, patients with diet related illnesses are given a “prescription” - a free voucher for produce from the farm stand. We visited their Healing Garden in Far Rockaway, NY to learn more about this model and how it can serve as an example to communities around the country.

During our time there, we met and spoke with Sam Josephs, a youth leader in the Green Teens Program, which allows her to serve as a mentor to her peers. Sam emphasizes the importance of growing fresh, organic produce for her community and the positive impact it has on her neighbors’ health: “Here in Rockaway, you don’t have access to the things that you need… When you have a farm, you’re producing your own food, you’re watching out for your own health.” Her testimony speaks to the value of programs like this, and the importance of local, community-controlled food systems in fighting diet related illnesses.

Executive Director Dr. Melony Samuels, who founded the organization in 1998, believes that increased funding and advocacy is needed to strengthen programs such as these that make the critical connections between food, agriculture and health. In turn, it will also support the development of new organizations and community empowerment nationwide. “This is a workable model,” she says. “I know the long-lasting benefit that it will add to the lives of families. It means that a senior citizen can live a little longer. It means that a child might never see diabetes, never be obese, or never have hypertension. It means a lot to me.” It certainly means a lot to the thousands of families served and it means a lot to us too.

Watch this inspiring video to learn more about Sam and BSCAH’s VeggieRx and Green Teens Program, and thank you to Sam & BSCAH for the work that you do and for sharing your story with us!

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...
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...

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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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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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