What Are Hunger Free Communities? >
Hunger Free Community (HFC) initiatives are broad-based, multi-sector coalitions that are committed to ending hunger in their communities. Hunger free initiatives across the country range in scale, from small towns and counties to major metropolitan areas and states. Some are led by governors, mayors, or members of Congress, while others are entirely volunteer driven. At their core, these initiatives are formed around the belief that to end hunger at the community level, a broad range of community stakeholders must unite behind a common vision and strategy.
Hunger Free Community coalitions often include stakeholders from government agencies, businesses, faith groups, health service providers, educational institutions, civic associations, foundations and non-profit organizations. Successful coalitions include not only “movers and shakers,” but also concerned citizens, volunteers, and program clients and participants.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Hunger Free Communities Grant program exists to support these broad-based collaborative community efforts to end hunger. Grant funding is used to:
- Assess the extent and causes of hunger in a community
- Design strategies and coordinated plans to ensure all community members have access to the nutritious food they need
- Implement plans in a coordinated, multi-sector approach that leverages private and public resources available for hunger relief in the community
Though hunger free efforts may vary in sophistication or focus on target populations, the most effective efforts begin with a process of coalition building and community assessment, move into a phase of data-driven planning and prioritizing, and result in clear goals and benchmarks to demonstrate progress.
The National Hunger Free Communities Summit and online Hunger Free Communities Network provide coalitions and leaders around the country a platform to network, share and access resources and best practices, and build greater awareness of the untapped potential to end hunger in our communities.