A Message from Ambassador Tony P. HallJune 29, 2011
Dear hunger fighters,
On behalf of the Alliance to End Hunger, welcome to HungerFreeCommunities.org, home of the Hunger Free Communities Network (HFC Network). This website is a nationwide platform where you can connect with others who are working to end hunger in their communities. Here, you will be able to learn from one another and share resources created by the local and national anti-hunger community.
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. Together we decided to make our community hunger-free. It was an enormous task. As I travelled across the country, talking with other people who were working to make their communities hunger-free, I picked up a lot of great ideas that we were able to use in Dayton. It was a tremendous experience.
In 1992, when I was chair of the Select Committee on Hunger, we had a series of hearings to identify the best practices, from across the U.S., to make a community hunger-free. We heard from grassroots-hunger advocates from all over the country: Washington, D.C., Dallas, Dayton, and St. Paul. As a result, we created a 14-point plan for making a community hunger-free. Fifteen years later, those 14 points became the basis for USDA’s Hunger Free Communities Grant Program.
In March 2011, the Alliance to End Hunger, together with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Share our Strength, Feeding America, and the Food Research and Action Center, convened the first ever National Hunger Free Communities Summit. More than 200 current and aspiring Hunger Free Community organizers – nonprofit, religious, private sector and public sector leaders committed to ending hunger in their community – attended the event. We had a chance to hear about innovative models for building community coalitions to end hunger; shared successful strategies; and learned about coordinating hunger relief, leveraging available resources and implementing multi-year plans. We look forward to hosting the second annual Summit next year.
Of course, the challenge of hunger in America is much larger than any event can hope to address. We created this website in order to carry the momentum of the Summit forward, and to give you a platform for continued engagement. I hope you will take the time to explore some of the website’s features, such as our blog, discussion forums, and resource library. I also hope that you will take a few minutes, if you haven’t done so already, to complete a profile for your organization or coalition, which we will include in our forthcoming map-based directory.
If you have any questions, feedback, ideas, or content to contribute to the Network, please don’t hesitate to contact my colleague J.K. Granberg-Michaelson. In the months ahead, you can expect this website and online community to grow and evolve based on your needs and contributions.
At the Alliance to End Hunger, we are committed to supporting innovation and finding ways to scale up best practices. 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.
Ambassador Tony P. Hall
Executive Director, Alliance to End Hunger