More than 34 million people – including 9 million children – struggle with hunger in America. Some won’t eat today or tomorrow. Some will eat, but not nutritious meals. Others don’t know when or where their next meal is coming from, experts say.
No one should go to bed hungry or have to choose between paying for food, medicine, utilities or other necessities. Food insecurity contributes to chronic diseases like diabetes, and undermines individuals’ success in school, work and life. It disproportionately impacts underserved communities, communities of color, low-income families, and rural Americans.
Yesterday, United Way Worldwide hosted the United Way Town Hall: Hunger-Free America by 2030, bringing together cross-sector leaders to discuss the White House’s national strategy to tackle hunger, and improve health and nutrition in America. The focus was how the public, private and nonprofit sectors can work together to achieve real change on this surmountable task.
Our guests, including members of Congress from both sides of the aisle, shared the challenges and opportunities. And they offered insights on how the 1,068 United Ways serving 95% of the U.S. can tackle hunger and food insecurity in their communities. Participating were U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN), U.S. Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS), U.S. Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), chairman of the House Agriculture Comittee, and U.S. Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA), a senior member of the House Agriculture Committee. "We need to ensure that there's grass-roots participation (in solving hunger)," said Sen. Braun, who served in the last Congress as the lead Republican on the Senate Agriculture Subcommittee on Food and Nutrition. "United Way will be in the trenches, making this work."
As United Way Worldwide’s President and CEO, Angela F. Williams, made clear during our Town Hall, our network is committed to working with our partners to address root causes of hunger and food insecurity, and to ensuring that all communities have equitable access to healthy food and nutrition. As part of that commitment, we’re working with national, state and local leaders from all sectors to advance national strategies to end hunger in America by 2030.
United Way has long worked to improve financial security, health and education across the world. We know food security is critical to good health, provides a pathway to financial security, and is key to helping children learn. United Way and 211, which links people to locally available resources, are working to support food banks, galvanize volunteers around food drives, bring partners together around innovative approaches, advocate for federal, state and local support of policies and funding, and more. Last year, 211 helped 2.7 million Americans reduce hunger and helped deliver 6.7 million meals. Learn more about our work to reduce hunger here.
Across the world, United Way is working alongside 29,000 community partners and 45,000 corporate partners to end food insecurity. Leveraging our collective strengths, we can make sure our neighbors don’t go to bed hungry. Please join us.
Take a minute to watch our Town Hall here, and reach out to your local United Way to get involved in our anti-hunger efforts.