No child should go hungry. It’s as simple as that. Yet the hunger crisis in America, and throughout the world, continues to prevail. When the pandemic hit, families experienced school closures and layoffs, making it even more challenging to provide nutritious meals for their children. That’s where WhyHunger comes in. WhyHunger is a nonprofit organization dedicated to making healthy meals accessible to all. Learn more about their mission, vision, and impact below.
When and how was WhyHunger started?
WhyHunger was founded in 1975 by the late musician Harry Chapin and Radio DJ Bill Ayres on the fundamental belief that access to nutritious food is a human right and hunger is a solvable problem in a world of abundance. What began as a simple commitment between two friends to make a difference has grown into a global non-profit, celebrating over 40 years of supporting social movements and grassroots innovations to change the systems, policies and institutions that perpetuate hunger and poverty in our world. WhyHunger has proven that change is possible and that justice can prevail.
How has the pandemic affected hunger?
1 in 4 children in America are not getting enough to eat. In 2020, childhood hunger skyrocketed as schools and daycares closed, parents lost jobs, and the COVID-19 crisis devastated our economy and threatened access to healthy food. Even as our nation begins to re-open, an estimated 17 million kids still aren’t getting the nutrition they need to learn, grow, and thrive.
Tell us more about WhyHunger’s Summer Meals initiative.
The USDA’s Summer Food Program provides free meals to school-age children. But only 1 out of every 7 eligible kids participate because their families aren’t aware that the program exists, or know how to find the nearest location.
What resources does WhyHunger provide for people in need of food?
WhyHunger’s national Hunger Hotline and digital Find Food tools connect children with free, nutritious meals close to home. Families in need can simply call 1-800-5-HUNGRY, text the word SUMMER and their zip code to 1-800-548-6479, or search online at whyhunger.org/findfood to get healthy local food. Access to this information is even more critical this summer, and we need to spread the word.
ONEHOPE Has proudly donated over $550,000 to WhyHunger to date. Can you share some stories of the impact we made together?
In 2020, with support from ONEHOPE, WhyHunger’s national Hunger Hotline, texting service, and online Find Food search connected over 1 million hungry Americans with free, nutritious, local food when they needed it most. Here are two families nourished by your generosity:
Stephanie, a military spouse and stay-at-home mom, recently re-entered the job market. So far, she has not had any luck finding work. Unable to make ends meet and struggling to feed her family, Stephanie called the WhyHunger Hotline. One of our volunteers connected her with a food pantry and a local organization to assist her with clothing, employment training, job application support, and more.
Carly, a mother of 3 young children, called the WhyHunger Hotline when she found herself struggling to put food on the table. Our staff connected Carly with local organizations offering free baby formula, meals for students, and a food pantry to help make ends meet. Carly even learned of a local senior meal and grocery delivery service for her 92-year-old neighbor, Gwen, who was homebound during the COVID-19 crisis.
How You Can Help
ONEHOPE’s support combined with your generosity helps nourish millions of families like Stephanie, Carly and Gwen’s by providing immediate access to healthy food and other critical services that create pathways out of poverty. Shop our WhyHunger fundraiser this summer where 10% of every purchase gives back to those in need. Looking to support WhyHunger all year long? Host an event with ONEHOPE and select a 501(c)3 nonprofit of your choice where 10% of event proceeds will be donated.