WHY (World Hunger Year)

WHY (World Hunger Year)
Founded: 1975

Mission:
World Hunger Year advances long-term solutions to hunger and poverty by supporting community-based organizations that empower individuals and build self-reliance.

Background:
Convinced that solutions to hunger and poverty can be found at the grassroots level, WHY connects grassroots organizations to funders, the media, and legislators. Each year, WHY sponsors Hungerthon, a Thanksgiving week media broadcast offering essential information about hunger and poverty to more than six million people. WHY co-founder Harry Chapin almost single-handedly lobbied Congress to pass a resolution creating the President's Commission on World Hunger through Congress, got President Jimmy Carter to sign it in 1978, and actively served on the commission.

Current Programs:
Reinvesting in America: WHY uses its extensive contacts to create networking opportunities for grassroots organizations. WHY has helped raise more than $6 million, initiated countless media connections, and facilitated meetings with policymakers. A quarterly newsletter, Connections, delivers practical information on organization building, fundraising, and hunger and poverty issues.

USDA National Hunger Clearinghouse: WHY maintains the only nationwide database of food, hunger, and nutrition organizations in the U.S. What's Moo, a monthly newsletter, provides WHY member organizations with information on conferences, publications, funding, and government programs. WHY also manages "800-GLEAN-IT," a national toll-free hotline number for information and referrals to emergency food assistance, food recovery programs, food donation sites, and volunteer opportunities.

WHY International: WHY works at the United Nations (where it holds NGO status) to increase food security at the national and international levels. The organization publishes information and influences policy on sustainable agriculture, microcredit lending, and community building.

Kids Can Make a Difference (KIDS): An educational program to help students understand the root causes of hunger and poverty, and to empower them to make a difference. KIDS offers teacher consultation, a curriculum guide, an award-winning Web site, and a quarterly newsletter.

Artists Against Hunger and Poverty: WHY forges relationships between artists and grassroots organizations to raise funds and public awareness. The organization makes it easy for artists to support social causes by matching them with other organizations in its network. In 1999, Artists Against Hunger and Poverty raised more than $1.5 million in concert-related donations for 225 organizations.

Web Site:
The World Hunger Year Web site (www.worldhungeryear.org) provides a wealth of information about the organization, up-to-date data about hunger and poverty, and also makes it possible for visitors to donate online.

Recent Successes:
White House Conference (1999): On March 2, 1999, WHY and the USDA co-hosted a successful conference at the White House on "Innovative Solutions To Ending Hunger Through Self-Reliance." The meeting, which was hosted by Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, expanded the dialogue between grassroots organizations and federal officials who deal with hunger and poverty.

Federal Partners (1999): WHY took a leadership role in support of direct-service providers through its work with the United States Department of Agriculture, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Labor, Department of Health and Human Services, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Department of Education, Small Business Administration, Department of Transportation, and Department of Justice on four major issues: access, simplification of the grants process, promotion of best practices, and replication of effective programs.

Federal, State and Local Partners Replication Workshops (ongoing): WHY partnered with the USDA in 2000 to co-host seven regional workshops across the United States. It also continues to connect grassroots organizations in each region that have replicable model programs with federal, state, and local agencies that can help them replicate those programs. The organization's goal is to create a working group of federal, state, and local officials in each state to partner with grassroots organizations in a more effective manner.

Funding Needs:
Every donation helps WHY find and implement innovative solutions to hunger and poverty. For more information, contact Margaret Gray by email (Development@worldhungeryear.org), or by snail mail at the above address. WHY is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible to the degree allowed by law.

Contact: Bill Ayres, Founder
Phone: (212) 629-8850
Fax: (212) 465-9274

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