Connect Blog

This post first appeared in The Huffington Post.

One in five children in America lives in poverty. Summer is the time when more children are hungry than at any other time of the year because they are not receiving free school meals during the week.

That means that their families have to provide for some 150 meals during the summer just for one child. For a family with two or more children earning $15,000 or less, or even earning twice as much, the cost is a budget breaker.

Fortunately, there are government-supported solutions that, with proper support and advocacy, can help all children have a hunger-free summer.

Since 1968 the USDA Food and Nutrition Services has run the Summer Food Service Program which has grown in the past few years to serve more than two and a half million children June - August at almost 50,000 sites all across the country. WhyHunger has supported the work of the USDA for several years to identify where the programs exist and then make that information available through our WhyHunger Hotline at 1-800-548-6479. Now through our brand new texting service, there’s an easier way to find food for children in your area by texting SUMMER plus your zip code to 1-800-548-6479 or searching our database at whyhunger.org/summermeals. Thousands of local organizations are doing heroic work to make sure children eat during the summer but despite all that work the program still only reaches about 15 percent of the eligible children.

A few years ago, WhyHunger came up with a different solution to summer hunger. We suggested to USDA that they add money to an eligible family’s SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) EBT card during the summer months. USDA has been running a pilot program over the past four years targeting families in several states whose children are eligible but are not receiving summer meals. The results of the pilot showed a reduction in childhood hunger during the summer by one third. The children were also consuming less sugary drinks and eating 12 percent more fruits and vegetables and 30 percent more grains. Many studies have shown that good nutrition aids cognition. There has always been a drop off in cognition during the summer for poor children because of hunger.

Continue reading the full article on The Huffington Post.

For Father’s Day we profiled a couple of our favorite guys, WhyHunger’s own (and new dad) Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau and SiriusXM’s Pete Dominick, host of “Stand Up! with Pete Dominick” about how being a father has changed the way they view the world and influenced how they fight for change and against an unjust system. Tristan Quinn-Thibodeau 1. How has being a (new) father influenced your perspective and work in the fight for an end to hunger and social justice for all? My daughter is only a few weeks old, but already I am realizing that she is going to grow up in a...
It was a bright and sunny Saturday morning in mid-May when we piled into the back of my colleague's car and made our way out of New York City’s sprawl. Joining the team from WhyHunger was Raul Amorim, the Coordinator of the Youth Collective of the Brazilian Landless Worker's Movement (MST), who was in New York to accept the WhyHunger Harry Chapin Award on behalf of the MST. As the conversation flowed from English to Portuguese to Spanish and back we talked about the weather, our work, and how excited we were to reach our final destination. We crossed the...
As an organization that believes in nutritious food and social justice for all, May 16th was a night to remember for WhyHunger as their annual WhyHunger Chapin Awards dinner commenced.  Allies and friends came together at The Lighthouse at Chelsea Piers for an evening dedicated to celebrating activism and social movements. The plates were placed, the wine glasses filled, the stage was set. This night of music and celebration is an important moment of fundraising. In addition to all of our gracious sponsors, table and ticket buyers, we are thrilled to share that we surpassed our onsite fundraising goal, raising more...
We are happy to share our animated video "If You Give Someone a Fish..." that debuted at the 2016 WhyHunger Chapin Awards and illustrates WhyHunger’s unique approach to solving the hunger problem and invites you to think beyond the familiar. The video was introduced by Executive Director Noreen Springstead. Here is an excerpt from her remarks: "Hunger is a solvable problem. Harry and Bill knew that more than 40 years ago, and I am more assured than ever that the solution is within reach. There is a growing awareness and acknowledgement in our society that our current systems are broken. Generations are...
Written by Kristin Schafer. Reposted with permission. This article was originally featured in the Pesticide Action Network’s GroundTruth blog. The science is in. Our food system's continued reliance on pesticides is putting children's health at risk. Kids across the country are exposed in various ways, but those who grow up in...

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Our longtime friend and Board Member Joe D'Urso's 3rd annual Rockland-Bergen Music Festival is coming up on June 25-26, so I interviewed him to learn more about the festival and what motivates him to organize and include a cause-related element at his festival.   Why is it important for you to host...

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WhyHunger’s What Ferguson Means for the Food Justice Movement series is a bold attempt to explore the way in which police violence and institutionalized anti-black racism is deeply interconnected to food, land and Black bodies. What is the connection between the death of Black people at the hands of the...

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Since 1993, the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger® Food Drive has been the largest national one-day food drive held in the U.S., allowing customers to place bags of non-perishable food items by their mailboxes before their letter carriers’ regular pick-up time, which the carriers will collect for delivery to a...

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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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