Hunger and poverty are complicated and widespread problems in our nation. In 2014, 46.7 million Americans (15 percent of the population) lived in poverty — that includes 21 percent of American children. Today, according to Feeding America, 15 million kids face the devastation of hunger.
Of course, hunger is a problem all over the world, too. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, 66 million primary school-aged children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.
Hunger exists in every community. Here are nine organizations working to fight for everyone's right to nutrition.
Global Hunger Organizations
United Nations World Food Programme
This international group coordinates efforts between governments, non-governmental organizations, corporations and individuals to improve worldwide food security. The WFP has 20 ships, 70 aircraft and 5,000 trucks to deliver food where it is needed most.
Another UN-affiliated group, Zero Hunger is an initiative of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Zero Hunger initiative focuses on solving hunger by encouraging people to work together to ensure access to nutritious food for the most vulnerable and increase agricultural production through sustainable and resilient food systems.
World Hunger Relief, Inc.
This Christian hunger organization works with communities to develop sustainable farming techniques. Their goal is to motivate individuals and communities to live sustainable lives — including education about crop sustainability and bringing vegetables to communities in food deserts.
Lutheran World Relief
With a presence in more than 36 countries, Lutheran World Relief's focus is improving agriculture in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This includes improving access to clean water, an important component of the solution to food insecurity issues around the world. Lutheran World Relief works to bring potable water to communities and build low-cost, easily maintained irrigation that provides water for crops and livestock.
Stop Hunger Now
Driven by the vision of a world without hunger, Stop Hunger Now works on food distribution and education programs. They encourage children to attend school and focus on addressing gender inequalities, stimulating economic growth and fighting child labor. One of Stop Hunger Now's signatures is meal-packaging events that serve as a hands-on opportunity to educate volunteers and inspire them to get more involved.
Local Hunger Organizations
Loaves & Fishes
Serving DuPage County in Northern Illinois, the nonprofit Loaves and Fishes provides emergency food for families struggling with food insecurity and support and education about services — such as how to apply for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, benefits.
Greater Chicago Food Depository
With the assistance of 650 partner agencies and programs, the Greater Chicago Food Depository distributes food throughout Chicago and nearby communities. One unique program they operate is Chicago’s Community Kitchens, a 14-week program for unemployed adults seeking careers in foodservice.
Engaging with Policy
This organization seeks to rally the American Jewish community to the fight against hunger in both the United States and Israel. MAZON encourages supporters and partner synagogues to engage in advocacy to influence opinions and actions of politicians.
Bread for the World
This group encourages Christians to communicate with legislators to address hunger. Since 1975, Bread for the World's annual letter-writing campaign, the Offering of Letters, has advocated for everyone's right to food.