FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 13, 2011
Chris Latondresse, 202-368-0739 direct
Washington, D.C. — Today the Alliance to End Hunger launched the Hunger Free Communities Network, a new nationwide online hub and best-practices clearinghouse for those active in local anti-hunger work to connect with one another, learn from each other and access resources from across the local and national anti-hunger community.
The goal of the initiative is to help catalyze the growth and establishment of Hunger Free Communities. At their core, these initiatives are formed around the belief that it is possible to end hunger at the community level by bringing together a broad range of community stakeholders — from across the private, public and social sectors — and uniting them behind a common vision and strategy.
“When I was a Congressman representing the 3rd District of Ohio, I brought together all the organizations in Dayton who were working with hungry people. We decided to make our community hunger-free,” said Ambassador Tony Hall, the Executive Director of the Alliance to End Hunger, to over 150 hunger activists on a conference call announcing the launch of the new network. “It was an enormous task, but by working together, we proved that it is possible to make a major dent in hunger at a local level.”
Also speaking on the call were Duke Storen, Director, Office of Strategic Initiatives, Partnerships, and Outreach, Food and Nutrition Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Kori Reed, Vice President, Foundation and Cause at ConAgra Foods and representative from the Corporate Hunger Coalition, Rob Zeaske, Executive Director of Second Harvest Heartland, and J.K. Granberg-Michaelson, Hunger Free Communities Coordinator at the Alliance to End Hunger.
“We are pleased to be working with the Alliance to End Hunger as we attempt to connect our efforts in Minnesota to the rest of the country,” said Rob Zeaske. “Knowing that none of us can do this alone, we hope to connect with, learn from and support the best approaches to make sure that none of our neighbors goes hungry in his or her time of need.”
“As corporations and corporate foundations, we are privileged to work directly with non-profit organizations in the community that are working on the frontline to help end hunger,” said Kori Reed, “The power of the Hunger-Free Communities Network is to share the great work, bring the ideas to scale and really make an impact on reducing food insecurity in this country.”
The HFC Network was formed as a response to the Alliance to End Hunger’s first National Hunger Free Communities Summit, a one day event held in March 2011, convened in partnership with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Share our Strength, Feeding America, and the Food Research and Action Center. The event provided current and aspiring Hunger Free Community organizers a forum to hear from experts about innovative models for building community coalitions to end hunger; share lessons learned and successful strategies; and learn about best practices to coordinate hunger relief, leverage available resources and implement multi-year plans.
“At the Alliance to End Hunger, we are committed to supporting innovation and finding ways to scale up best practices,” concluded Ambassador Tony Hall. “We’re not the experts on ending hunger in your communities, and no one organization can be. We believe that by creating this online community, we can all learn together. By combining the knowledge and expertise of hunger advocates all over the country, we can move towards a future where every community is hunger free.”
This new initiative comes at a critical time in the movement to end hunger in the United States. More than 50 million Americans live in food insecure households, the highest prevalence rate since the U.S. government first started documenting hunger figures in 1997.
The Alliance to End Hunger engages diverse institutions in building the public and political will to end hunger at home and abroad. The Alliance has more than 80 members — corporations, non-profit groups, universities, individuals, and Christian, Jewish and Muslim religious groups. www.alliancetoendhunger.org