WhyHunger Announces the 2012 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards Announced

Five Organizations Receive National Award for Impact on Food Movement & Fight Against Hunger

WhyHunger Announces 2012 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award Winners

New York, NY – (January, 2012) –WhyHunger, a leader in building the movement to end hunger and poverty,  is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2012 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award, a national grant program providing economic resources and networking opportunities to outstanding community-based organizations.  This year, five organizations were funded at $10,000 each for their creative and effective approaches to fighting hunger and poverty in the United States.

“We’ve carefully selected five of the top community-based organizations in the country, all of which are taking innovative steps to push the boundaries of the more traditional approaches to fighting hunger and poverty,” said Bill Ayres, WhyHunger founder and executive director. “We applaud each of the winning organizations for their significant impact on both the local and national food justice movement and their strong commitment to dismantling structural racism across the food system, and look forward to working with them in 2012 and beyond.”

In addition to the financial support, each grantee will have access to the full breadth of WhyHunger’s ongoing capacity building support, networking opportunities and resources as a member of our Grassroots Action Network, which supports and connects thousands of organizations nationwide.

The grantees will convene in June to receive their awards at the 2012 WhyHunger Chapin Awards in New York City and participate in training and networking events.

The 2012 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award grantees include:
Food for Maine’s Future, Sedgwick, ME
Food for Maine’s Future addresses the need for democracy and social justice at all levels of the food system. The organization tackles food sovereignty initiatives through partnerships with organizations such as La Via Campesina and the National Family Farm Coalition. Funds from the Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award will be used to organize and lay the groundwork for a 2012 national convergence of landless workers to promote access to farmland and empower and organize landless farmers. //savingseeds.wordpress.com/

Food What?!, Santa Cruz, CA
Food What?! is a youth empowerment and food justice project that uses sustainable agriculture and health education as a vehicle for growing strong, healthy, and inspired teens. Youth develop leadership skills in a safe environment, learning how to address structural racism in the food system and break down normative thinking that devalues rural and ethnic food cultures. Food What?! will use the Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award to support three interconnected programs: Food for Self, culturally relevant food grown by youth participants; Food for Family, bringing shares of youth-grown food to their homes; and Food for Community, growing food for low-come CSA shares to be sold at a local elementary school. www.foodwhat.org

HOPE Collaborative, Oakland, CA
HOPE Collaborative addresses structural inequities and social determinants of health that most severely impact Oakland’s vulnerable youth and families. HOPE believes that real change can only occur when the people living under these conditions have both civic and economic ownership of the resources and decision making processes that impact everyday life. The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award will support its HOPE Youth Action Board, which empowers young people to expand their leadership, knowledge, and youth-led projects that address the root causes of health and food disparities in Oakland. www.hopecollaborative.net

Neighbors Together, Brooklyn, NY
Neighbors Together works in the Ocean Hill/Brownsville/Bedford-Stuyvesant sections of Brooklyn, one of the lowest-income communities in the United States, by combining emergency food services and community empowerment initiatives. The organization believes that hunger will not end until low-income people are actively involved in shaping anti-poverty policies. Neighbors Together will use the Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award to support its Community Action Program, which provides opportunities for its low-income members to learn about public policies impacting the community and to participate in the policy-making process. www.neighborstogether.org

Tierra y Libertad Organization, Tucson, AZ
Tierra y Libertad Organization focuses on building positive social change and community transformation through a multi-tier model of grassroots community organizing and popular education. TYLO will use its Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award to launch small Barrio-based business enterprises, including its existing bio-intensive garden beds in houses and small institutions as a means of income and healthy food for families within the Barrio, many of which are women- and youth-led. www.facebook.com/TierraYLibertadOrganization

The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards are supported in part by the Harry Chapin Foundation. To learn more about the Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards, the Grassroots Action Network and WhyHunger, visit www.whyhunger.org.


About WhyHunger
WhyHunger is a leader in building the movement to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and by supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment. Founded in 1975 by the late Harry Chapin & current Executive Director Bill Ayres, WhyHunger works to put an end to hunger suffered by 49 million Americans and nearly 1 billion people worldwide. WhyHunger’s main programs include the National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3-HUNGRY, which refers individuals in need of emergency food assistance to soup kitchens, food banks, government nutrition programs & community organizations in their neighborhoods; the Grassroots Action Network, which provides information, networking opportunities, capacity building & access to over 8,000 anti-hunger & poverty community organizations across the United States and around the world; and Artists Against Hunger & Poverty which is supported by Bruce Springsteen, Michael McDonald, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Joss Stone, Darryl McDaniels, Jackson Browne, O.A.R, and many others. For more information visit www.whyhunger.org.