Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards (HCSRA)

The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards recognized and championed innovative U.S.-based grassroots organizations working to transform their communities through healthy food access and social and economic justice.

From 1985-2013, WhyHunger recognized hundreds of innovative and inspired grassroots organizations across the nation with the Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award. Our steadfast commitment to long-term capacity building and peer-to-peer learning with grassroots leaders continues to be one of our major contributions to the growing food justice movement. Over the years we’ve grown and shaped our programming by listening to our partners’ feedback. As a result, we have transitioned this awards program into communities of practice where partners learn with and from each other as sources of innovation, collective power building and systemic transformation. We continue to be inspired and informed by the work of all of the HCSRA winners, and we are honored to stand with them in the fight for food justice for all! Read below to learn more about previous awardees.

2013 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award Winners:

We are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2013 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards! Since 1985, the Awards have recognized and championed innovative community-based organizations working to fight hunger and poverty around the country. This year’s strong pool of applicants made it a tough decision—and is an inspiring sign of all the action and change that’s happening in communities across the US.

The winners of the 2013 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards are:

Read the press release here.

About the Winners

Adelante Mujeres, Forest Grove, OR
Adelante Mujeres (Move Forward or Flourish, Women) promotes holistic education and empowerment of low-income Latina women and their families. Founded in 2002 to reach Latina women who were often relegated to the home, the organization has served over 1,400 families with programming focused on early childhood, youth and adult education, small business development, farmer training and access to local healthy food. The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award will fund the group’s Nourish the Community Initiative, helping the Adelante Mujeres community empower participants to be engaged creators of health resources and to act as health advocates impacting the whole community.

La Mujer Obrera, El Paso, TX
Founded in 1981 by displaced female garment workers, La Mujer Obrera (The Working Woman) is run by women workers of Mexican heritage to address issues of economic justice and community development. Programs focus on creating a sustainable, just and dignified future for Latina women and their families through women’s empowerment and economic and community development initiatives. The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award will support La Mujer Obrera’s farmers market, mobile market, permaculture demonstration garden and the Mercado Mayapan, a vibrant microenterprise center and cultural space.


Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Chicago, IL
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) addresses environmental justice and builds community power in the predominantly Mexican southwest Chicago neighborhood of Little Village. The group organizes for democracy and a voice in decisions about if, how, when and where development happens in the community, working to end pollution and toxic waste and increase public transit and green space in Little Village and throughout Chicago. The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award will fund the LVEJO Urban Agriculture Project, including laying the groundwork for the neighborhood’s first urban farm cooperative.

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, Bloomington, IN
Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard is a client-choice food pantry that provides healthy, wholesome food to thousands of local residents in need – and a community organization that works together with its patrons to build sustainable long-term solutions to food insecurity. Founded in 1998 by two mothers who had themselves experienced food insecurity, the organization also now features thriving garden education and nutrition education programs. The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award will support the creation of a new Director of Education and Outreach position to strengthen Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard’s food justice work in the community

SEEDS, Durham, NC
SEEDS (South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces) educates youth and adults through gardening, growing food and cultivating respect for life, for earth and for each other. Founded in 1994 by a community leader with a vision of transforming neighborhoods and lives through gardening, SEEDS now realizes that vision through a focus on young people. In addition to community gardeners’ plots and a youth-run market garden, SEEDS has after-school and summer programs as well as environmental education opportunities for the whole community. SEEDS will use the Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award to strengthen the DIG (Durham Inner-City Gardeners) program, a paid entrepreneurial market garden program that employs and empowers at-risk teens.


2012 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award Winners:

Food for Maine’s Future

Food What?!, Santa Cruz, CA

HOPE Collaborative, Oakland, CA

Neighbors Together, Brooklyn, NY

Tierra y Libertad Organization, Tucson, AZ

Learn more about the 2012 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award winners here.