“A world without hunger is possible… with the right solutions”
NEW YORK (July 27, 2022) – WhyHunger, a leader in the movement to end hunger and advance the human right to nutritious food in the U.S. and around the world, has submitted formal testimony to the Biden Administration ahead of the historic White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health. WhyHunger’s co-founder Harry Chapin and advisory board member Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) were instrumental in the first ever Presidential Commission on World Hunger during President Carter’s Administration. WhyHunger not only has a history of fighting for food justice and to ensure nutritious food as a basic human right but has been active in bringing about this upcoming conference, more than 50 years since the first.
In their testimony, WhyHunger stresses that hunger is a solvable problem and proposes new solutions to move towards a hunger free world. While solutions to hunger and adequate nutrition already exist across the U.S., WhyHunger believes that as a country we struggle to solve the ongoing hunger crisis due to a lack of political will to address and dismantle centuries’ old policies and ideologies that privatize, commodify, and consolidate food systems and reinforce a mentality of scarcity. Instead, they call for a bold, comprehensive pivot to prioritize the rights, health and well-being of all people.
“This is not a time for program tweaks, incremental gains, photo-ops or short-term improvements,” said Noreen Springstead, executive director, WhyHunger. “We need a transformative approach that goes further than any Administration has been willing to go. We need to systematically and inclusively eradicate this entrenched yet solvable social problem. Only then can we end hunger and ensure everyone’s basic human right to nutritious food.”
Top priorities and initiative proposed by WhyHunger include but are not limited to:
- Establishing nutritious food as a basic human right
- Enacting new policies that directly address the root causes of hunger
- Investing in solutions driven by frontline, BIPOC-led and grassroot organizations
- Establishing national strategies for agroecology and food sovereignty
- Maximizing the tools, like SNAP, WIC, School Meals, and the Child Tax Credit, which already exist to ensure no child goes hungry
- Transforming the emergency feeding system beyond food distribution and towards strategies that promote social justice
- Updating federal poverty guidelines to better reflect the true cost of living
- Ensuring thriving wages and worker protections
- Increasing direct federal investments in just, sustainable regional food and farm economies
WhyHunger acknowledges the Biden Administration’s call for testimonies and efforts of inclusion ahead of the conference. The hope is that this focus on inclusion translates beyond just input into strategic decision making. Voices that need to be taken into consideration are from communities most impacted by hunger and its root causes: Black, Brown, Indigenous, immigrant and low-income communities. Grassroot organizations, alliances and social movements that are already creating sustainable solutions for their communities should be a guiding force for decision making.
“Hunger is not a new problem in America. COVID-19 has only exacerbated the long-standing social injustices, from racism to stagnant wages, at the root of hunger,” added Springstead. “In this moment of unprecedented need and heightened awareness, this historic White House Conference has the potential to shift our collective national response to food insecurity, dramatically reduce hunger and build a just food system for us all.”
Founded in 1975 by the late Harry Chapin and radio DJ Bill Ayres, WhyHunger believes a world without hunger is possible. We provide critical resources to support grassroots movements and fuel community solutions rooted in social, environmental, racial and economic justice. A four-star rated charity by Charity Navigator, with highest ratings for excellence in fiscal management accountability and transparency, WhyHunger is working to end hunger and advance the human right to nutritious food in the U.S. and around the world. 91 cents of every dollar raised goes directly to programmatic work. Learn more at whyhunger.org and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.