Current Impacts

WhyHunger is proud of the impact of our work. We listen and respond to the needs of community-based organizations and social movements who are leading the way forward. Together, we are magnifying our impact and building solutions that transform and last.

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A total of 85 grassroots partners and social movements benefited from WhyHunger directly granting $532,280 to help communities develop their own solutions to hunger and poverty and build their capacity to engage in long-term change. By investing in capacity building, training, food production and leadership development, WhyHunger is helping to both spur innovation locally and build power nationally.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, WhyHunger raised over $47,000 in immediate, quick-response fundraising to directly support the Puerto Rican farmers and community organizers working through Organización Boricuá de Agricultura Ecologica to rebuild their communities from the ground up. The funding was leveraged to meet immediate needs with food and water, as well as to supply the seeds, tools and resources to begin rebuilding homes, farms and the local food system.

WhyHunger deepened critical relationships with three global social movements working to build food sovereignty and social justice for all–La Via Campesina International, World March of Women and the World Forum of Fisher Peoples–and mobilized over $393,300 in funding through WhyHunger’s International
Solidarity Fund and Imagine There’s No Hunger grants to support local agroecological food production and community organizing projects in Canada, Nicaragua, US, Paraguay and Brazil. This support helps ensure communities are able to produce nutritious food, maintain their land rights and strengthen their ability to mobilize


WhyHunger piloted a new social movement/grassroots-led grant-making strategy in Brazil. We convened leaders from various social movements and facilitated a decision-making process to determine how over $345,000 in funding could best be used to grow social movements in Brazil. We believe this type of collective decision-making regarding resources distribution is both replicable across our work and essential to fostering real change.

WhyHunger organized and accompanied key social movement and grassroots partners from the Global South through two formal learning exchanges, including a delegation from Brazil to the US, and a delegation from the US to South Africa, and four strategic site visits to the United States where our allies from Mozambique, Brazil, Nicaragua and Puerto Rico were able to meet, learn, share and build solidarity with WhyHunger and allied organizations.

WhyHunger continues to foster and grow the US Food Sovereignty Alliance, providing organizational and technical support for the Alliance and anchoring the leadership transition from NGOs to grassroots organizations. We are also supporting The People’s Agroecology Process (PAP), a collaboration of nine diverse food sovereignty organizations bringing together over 130 organizers, farmers, fisherfolk and farmworkers to accelerate and scale out the use of agroecological practices to produce nutritious food in North America and build collective power.

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WhyHunger continued to provide backbone support to the emerging Closing the Hunger Gap Network by providing 19 scholarships and facilitating popular workshops on Structural Racism, Race & Privilege in the Emergency Food System, The Right to Food and Narrative Change for the 2017 Conference, which brought together over 600 progressive food access organizations in the US to strengthen and unify efforts to end hunger and address its root causes.

WhyHunger held community of practice gatherings in the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, bringing together 26 community-based food access organizations and leaders to deepen relationships, build a shared analysis of justice and health, explore opportunities for collaboration and establish ways to stay connected throughout the year. By building collectively, WhyHunger is fortifying the work of local communities and laying the groundwork to build a national movement to end hunger.

WhyHunger is developing the most comprehensive database of food access organizations in the US, placing an emphasis on those that provide nutritious food. Currently with 23,384 organizations and growing, we are utilizing, a texting service and our WhyHunger Hotline 1-800-5HUNGRY to assist over 262,821 individuals annually to access healthy food in their communities.

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Our popular Food Justice Voices series, a powerful collection of articles featuring grassroots voices working for food justice and community-led solutions, produced three compelling issues: A Farmer Like Me: Exploring Hunger, Race and Farming in America, Pathology of Displacement: The Intersection of Food Justice and Culture and El Sueño Americano ― The American Dream, focused on the intersection of hunger and the social determinants of health.

For International Women’s Day, we launched Through Her Eyes: The Struggle for Food Sovereignty, a new publication that honors and amplifies the voices of women around the world who are fighting for food sovereignty. In Through Her Eyes, women from Florida to New Jersey and Puerto Rico to Mozambique share their opinions, stories and experiences on topics including agrochemicals, fishing practices, food stamps, GMOs, farmworkers and more. WhyHunger continues to invest in women-led projects around the world because increasing a woman’s ability to produce food and provide a dignified life for herself and her family has a multiplier effect on entire communities.


In partnership with grassroots organizations across the US and Hunger Is, a joint charitable program of the Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, WhyHunger created a storytelling series of five articles and three videos focused on elevating innovative community-led solutions to childhood hunger, specifically nutritious breakfast initiatives.

WhyHunger is leading a national narrative change process that engaged over 180 food access organizations in 2017 through workshops, trainings, surveys and a national task force to transform the dominant narrative about solving hunger in US from a model based on food charity to a model rooted in social justice and centered on dignity and human potential.

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WhyHunger’s Hungerthon campaign, in partnership with CBS Radio New York, SiriusXM, Cumulus New York and iheartmedia New York, raised another $1.1 million to fuel programmatic work and educated listeners via 40+ substantive radio interviews. Hungerthon Ambassadors included Tom Morello, Michael McDonald, Kenny Loggins, Jon Batiste and Southside Johnny, along with social media and merchandise support from Yoko Ono Lennon and Bruce Springsteen.


The Artists Against Hunger & Poverty (AAHP) program expanded its reach by being onsite at a variety of concert events including Warped Tour, Dead & Company Prophets of Rage and Rockland-Bergen Music Festival to raise funds, engage new artists and activate fans. AAHP also welcomed new partnerships with iconic rock photographer Mark Weiss on his site, the children’s book Mr. Tanner that is based on the classic song written and recorded by WhyHunger co-founder Harry Chapin, and Hungry Heart – Recipes to the Rescue, a fan-driven cookbook filled with recipes related to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band.


The Summer Meals Rock for Kids campaign tapped into the support of artists and partners such as Paul McCartney, Ed Sheeran, Disney on Broadway, NASCAR, Law & Order: SVU and more to raise funds and help ensure that children across the US had access to free, nutritious meals during the summer.


Lasting Impact