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WORLD HUNGER YEAR WHYHUNGER: 35 YEARS OF ASKING THE WHY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERING WITH CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO HUNGER AND POVERTY

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Bill s article: About WhyHunger Accomplishments Through The Years Updated by Bill Ayres 10/21/2010 WORLD HUNGER YEAR WHYHUNGER: 35 YEARS OF ASKING THE WHY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERING WITH CREATIVE SOLUTIONS
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Bill s article: About WhyHunger Accomplishments Through The Years Updated by Bill Ayres 10/21/2010 WORLD HUNGER YEAR WHYHUNGER: 35 YEARS OF ASKING THE WHY QUESTIONS AND ANSWERING WITH CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO HUNGER AND POVERTY On March 3, 1975, singer Harry Chapin and radio talk-show host Bill Ayres cofounded World Hunger Year to educate people about hunger and poverty by asking two critical WHY questions: a. Why is there hunger in a world that can feed itself? b. Why is there so much hunger in the USA, the richest country in the history of the world? Harry and Bill created the first Hungerthon -- a 24-hour radiothon on Thanksgiving weekend in 1975, bringing experts on hunger to WNEW-FM, America s premier New York City-based rock station. For the next three years, they traveled the country, hosting Hungerthons in Philadelphia, San Francisco, Detroit, Long Island, Washington, DC, Dallas and then two more in New York City. They reached more than 2-million people with critical and current information about hunger and poverty. Author-activist Frances Moore Lappe (Diet for a Small Planet) and Activist Joe Collins who together founded the Institute for Food and Development Policy (now called Food First) became early mentors. They asked Harry to help fund their ground-breaking study of world hunger and to found the first magazine devoted to hunger and poverty. In 1977 Food Monitor, later known as Why Magazine was created. Why Magazine has since gone digital and appears on-line as The WhyReporter and WhySpeaks. At a concert during the 1978 NYC Hungerthon, they raised money to start the New York City Hunger Hotline (then called the Food and Hunger Hotline), then the first of its kind in the United States. The Hotline helped to jumpstart hundreds of emergency food providers and served hundreds of thousands of hungry people until it was absorbed into NYC s new 311 system. Sandy Chapin, Harry s wife, suggested to Harry and Bill and a few significant Congress members that they convince President Jimmy Carter to establish a Presidential Commission on World Hunger. They agreed, and Harry was especially effective as a lobbyist for this project, going from one Congressional office to another until the Commission became a reality. The Commission lasted from and brought us a longstanding relationship with Senator Patrick Leahy and Represenative Ben Gilman. They helped form the Congressional Hunger Caucus which spawned many good pieces of legislation both domestic and international. When President Carter was defeated in his re-election bid, virtually all of the Commission s recommendations were scrapped by President Ronald Reagan. For all of WhyHunger s 35 year history, we have championed the power of community-based organizations. In 1978 colleagues asked us to help fund the organization that would become The Center for Food Action in New Jersey. In 1981, we founded Long Island Cares, Long Island s Food Bank, now known as the Harry Chapin Food Bank. After Harry died on July 16, 1981, dozens of artists, led by his brothers Tom Chapin and Steve Chapin and Peter, Paul & Mary, performed benefit concerts for WhyHunger. This eventually evolved into our Artists Against Hunger & Poverty program in the 1990 s, still going strong today. In 1982, Harry s older brother James Chapin suggested that we establish and fund the World Hunger Media Awards, rewarding journalists for the best media reporting on hunger and poverty in books, newspapers, magazines, television, photojournalism (and in the earliest years, lifetime achievement and cartoon) categories. Kenny Rogers funded the awards for the first 10 years. For the next few years after, the NYC Advertising Jingle community took over the funding of these awards. Now WhyHunger funds them directly and has renamed them the Harry Chapin Media Awards. Sandy Chapin came up with another great idea the Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards. These are cash prizes for the most effective and innovative communitybased programs that promote self-reliance. We presented the first award in 1985 to the Hartford Food System and over the years we have awarded more than $600,000 to more than 160 community-based organizations. In 1985, Hungerthon shifted from being an information source to being a significant annual fundraiser for WhyHunger s work when WNEW-FM approached us with a unique idea of partnering with the US Committee for UNICEF and broadcasting Hungerthon live from the United Nations Visitors Lobby. The plan worked well and we hosted some extraordinary concerts and hunger and poverty experts over the next several years until the first Gulf War when for security reasons, the United Nations asked us to end our Hungerthon partnership with UNICEF. At first, we were extremely disappointed, but we moved Hungerthon forward in partnership with WNEW-FM. Since then, we have raised more than $11,000,000 thanks to the generosity of Hungerthon s listeners and 17 radio station partners including CBS, Clear Channel, Emmis and Citadel New York tri-state area radio stations and Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Strongest among our radio partners is the New York City tri-state area is the CBS Radio Group. In the wake of 1985 s severe recession, we funded a Farm Bill Media Campaign and hired two excellent D.C.-based media experts to coordinate a campaign with dozens of national farm, religious and hunger organizations calling for the federal government to restore billions of dollars in funding to federal nutrition programs and to enact the most sweeping farm conservation program of the 20 th century. We succeeded in both. In we began our largest and most ambitious program, Reinvesting In America. Our goals included visiting more than 1,000 of the most effective and innovative community-based organizations in America; and then creating a network that would allow the organizations to learn from each others successes. We established connections for them with government partners, the media and funders. Today this program is called the Grassroots Action Network and has 8,000 member organizations nation-wide. In 1992 WhyHunger joined with more than a dozen national organizations to publish The Medford Declaration, a roadmap for ending hunger in America. This led to the establishment of NAHO (The National Association of Hunger Organizations) in the next decade. NAHO uses its expertise and connections to influence the passage of important federal legislation that fights hunger and poverty. In 1993 Bruce Springsteen hosted a major concert at the Meadowlands (in New Jersey) for WhyHunger and two community-based organizations. That was the beginning of our Artists Against Hunger and Poverty program which now includes more than 35 participating artists. This program has raised more than $10,000,000 for hundreds of organizations in our network as well as for WhyHunger. Most of this was raised by Bruce. In 1994 two very active board members, Jane Finn Levine and Larry Levine, founded Kids Can Make A Difference, an excellent program that educates young people about hunger and involves them in community-based solutions. In 2010 KIDS became its own program independent of WhyHunger but remains a close partner and ally. In , we received a contract from the USDA Food and Nutrition Services to establish a National Hunger Clearinghouse to connect with thousands of local hunger and food organizations and to connect them to USDA programs. In 1994 WhyHunger was a founding member of the National Jobs For All Coalition. During the late 1990 s we partnered with the USDA Food and Nutrition Services and developed a series of regional workshops that brought together dozens of the most effective community-based hunger and poverty organizations with regional representatives from the USDA to share best practices. During the 90 s, WhyHunger became involved and then a leader in the newly established Community food Security Coalition whose motto is good food for all. WhyHunger still plays an important role in this movement and partners with specific successful organizations that are promoting healthy locally grown food. In 1995 we sent staff representatives to the Women s Summit in Beijing. In 1996 Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman asked WhyHunger to create a National Gleaning Hotline to accept donations of food. The hotline attracted hundreds and then thousands of calls from people who were hungry so we changed the name to the National Hunger Hotline. Today we answer calls every day from hungry Americans from all across the country and we connect them with emergency food providers in their community and all of the federal nutrition programs that can help them. In 2000 we brought ten of the very best community-based organizations to the White House to meet with representatives of all of the federal agencies that deal with poverty. Following the conference, the administration created a database that included all the federal programs and policies that dealt with poverty and made it accessible to the public. We also worked with USDA to decrease the amount of paperwork that people had to fill out in order to receive federal benefits. For our 25 th anniversary in 2000 we hosted our first-ever Why Dinner. It has since become an annual event that has celebrated hunger activists, political figures, journalists and artists. In partnership with USDA in 2002, WhyHunger created the Food Security Learning Center (FSLC) that provides a wide range of people with information about many new terms like Community Supported Agriculture and Farm to School Programs as well as information about all the federal feeding programs, family farms, farm workers and much more. We co-published Building the Bridge in 2005 with the Community Food Security Coalition to bridge the gap between emergency food providers, hunger activists and community food activists. Each group brings a different perspective and set of constituents and WhyHunger believes we can all work together for food change. WhyHunger has become an important bridge by connecting all factions. Hard Rock International chose us a as partner in the early 1990s and hosted numerous concerts, meetings and other fundraisers for us, and sold a Doonesbury, and later, in 2005 a Brue Springsteen signature series shirt for WhyHunger. We convinced the USDA to create the National Hunger Champions Annual Award in 2006 honoring food stamp offices in the country that provide the most timely and courteous services to their clients. In 2008 we convinced the USDA to create a National Food Stamp Outreach Promising Practices Website so people can learn about the best practices and not have to reinvent the wheel. In 2008 WhyHunger partnered with Hard Rock International and Yoko Ono Lennon to create the Imagine There s No Hunger Campaign which raised funds for seven local organizations in Asia, Africa, Latin America and in the United States that were not only feeding children but also teaching them to grow food and helping to transform whole communities. Through the sale of wristbands in all of the Hard Rock Café venues worldwide, the campaign raised $140,000 and during 2008, and doubled to more than $300,000 in brought a global food crisis of staggering proportions. More than 100 MILLION additional people were hungry, bringing the total worldwide to more than a BILLION. In the United States the number rose from 32 million to 49 million. WhyHunger initiated the Global Food Crisis Campaign which is calling on the United Nations, the American government and major food providers to refocus on helping small farmers through safe and productive farming practices. The Benefit Bank offers an amazing database technology that allows people to sign up for federal and state benefits within a half hour with the help of a counselor. Several years ago WhyHunger helped the program to connect with the Ohio Association of Food Banks and during the past two years they have created 2,500 offices throughout the state, servicing 140,000 clients and bringing $320 million of benefits to mostly poor working people. WhyHunger is presently working with two partners, Solutions for Progress, which created the Benefit Bank, and MDC of North Carolina to bring the Benefit Bank to more states and to community colleges through a similar use of technology in the Assets4Education program. In 2009 WhyHunger received a foundation grant to work in two areas that are considered food deserts, areas in rural America or in inner cities that do not have access to fresh fruit, vegetables or meat. There are convenience stores and fast food restaurants, but not much else. We are presently working with coalitions in southern Arizona and the Mississippi Delta. WhyHunger has always connected local programs so they can learn from one another. In 2010 WhyHunger is partnering with Growing Power of Milwaukee and USDA in a National Mentoring Program to help the most successful programs share expertise with newer programs that want to learn. WhyHunger s latest corporate partnership is with Whole Foods. In one day in 2010, they raised more than $100,000 for 22 community hunger programs in the Northeast. Currently in production, Rate the States is a matrix of hunger and poverty statistics for all the states and an analysis of how well the federal hunger and poverty programs are administered by each state. The data will be shared with USDA and with our state and national partners. As we have entered our 36 th year on March 3, 2010, we have decided to return to our roots of asking Why questions and renamed our organization WhyHunger. Thank you for your support over all these years. Now you have a better idea of how we invest the money you contribute and the results we have had and continue to achieve. If you are just learning about us, take a thorough tour of our website or call us at Hungry. Peace, Bill Ayres

Jugal Cv

Jul 23, 2017
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