How We Work

“We don’t just ask why. We find solutions to hunger that transform and last.”

The Problem

Hunger persists in our world because people cannot afford to buy food or because they are denied access to the land, water and other resources they need to produce their own food.  When we mistakenly define the problem as hunger itself, we limit the solution to food charity and distribution. But when we look at the deeper, root causes and define hunger as a symptom, we can see the problem clearly as social injustice. And that is where we can begin to find real solutions to the complex economic, social and environmental issues at the source.

We will not see significant improvements in the hunger statistics in the U.S. or around the world until we dismantle the broader policies, systems and institutions that perpetuate economic, racial and other social and political inequities. We must invest in the many community-led solutions and social movements that are nourishing people and the planet and support them in leading us in transforming the current food system into one rooted in equity. That is why WhyHunger works on the following solutions to truly end hunger.

Our Solutions

Growing grassroots power

Growing grassroots power is at the foundation of WhyHunger’s approach to building and supporting effective movements. Developing supportive partnerships, rooted in trust and solidarity, and allying with grassroots leaders and organizations requires a long-term commitment to the capacity building and resourcing of grassroots actors.

Supporting movements

Real transformations in society take place when individuals and groups, especially those who have the most at stake, build power together as they work towards common goals and a common vision of society. Social movements are expressions of a collective desire to end oppression and injustices and key in strengthening existing and emergent movements for food justice and food sovereignty.

Social Justice

Our vision for social justice includes a society in which all members are physically and psychologically safe and where everyone has access to the resources they need in order to fully participate, thrive, and succeed. It ensures racial, economic, environmental and health equity for all. To build social justice, WhyHunger works to address the root causes of hunger, such as poverty, racism, sexism, classism, homophobia, and other forms of oppression and structural inequities that create disproportionate barriers to food and land access for communities.

Amplifying community voices

Amplifying community voices is an important part of our narrative change work to give voice to grassroots leaders seldom heard. We produce publications and stories that share the wisdom of our partners and allies’ experiences as they work towards changing the broken food system.

Advocating for the Right to Food

Framing the solution to hunger as a human right to adequate food and nutrition serves as a catalyst for systemic change and holds governments and institutions accountable when they fails to respect, protect, and fulfill the right to food for all. As a member of the Global Network on the Right to Food, we work to protect the right to food by acting in solidarity with social movements all over the world.

In the U.S., where the right to food is not legally recognized, we use a rights-based framework as a tool to advocate.  We define the right to food as: food that is physically and economically accessible; nutritionally adequate to ensure optimal health; available through dignified means, including access to resources for food production; and environmentally sustainable in how it’s produced and consumed.

Scaling out agroecology

Agroecology is a science and practice defined in the daily lives of millions of campesino and small farmers worldwide.  It is both a form of agricultural production that is resilient to climate change and a process for organizing and building community self-determination.  Agroecology combines the best of ecology, democracy and traditional knowledge of food protection rooted in practical experience which is shared farmer-to-farmer, community-to-community.

Agroecology is a basic building block in the construction of Food Sovereignty and is the first line in the protection of Mother Earth.  We help to scale out agroecology by investing in learning exchanges between communities, supporting the development of popular education tools, and disseminating the experiences, stories and impacts of agroecology practitioners around the world.

WANT TO LEARN MORE?