Hunger Awareness Day Leaders Plan Strategy

America's Second Harvest
Tuesday, 24 February 2004

First Thursday in June designated National Hunger Awareness Day.

Planning for the third annual National Hunger Awareness Day on June 3, 2004 is underway. As the scope and breadth of the hunger-relief movement has grown, the need for a national planning structure became increasingly important. Today, leaders from dozens of national organizations confirmed their commitment to expanding the visibility and reach of activities this year. Participants at today's meeting represent labor unions, religious institutions, anti-hunger groups, food and grocery manufacturers, government leaders, and trade associations. The overriding goal of this committee is to grow participation on National Hunger Awareness Day and to ensure that we live in a Hunger-Free America.

Two years ago, it became evident that more had to be done to meet the needs of millions of hungry Americans. With intractable unemployment, decreasing employee and retirement benefits and increasing housing, utility and medical costs, the challenges that low income Americans face every day have become too large for too many. Through America's Second Harvest, its network of hunger-relief organizations, community and faith-based organizations, business, government, advocacy and trade organizations, National Hunger Awareness Day was celebrated on June 5, 2001.

"To make a real difference in the lives of hungry Americans, it will take the hard work of the leaders here today, and the millions of people that they represent," said Bob Forney, President and CEO of America's Second Harvest.

The formation of America's Hunger Awareness Day organizing committee will give the day greater prominence and create a focal point where the needs of 35 million hungry Americans will be highlighted. Each committee member has committed his or her organization to develop appropriate activities, advocacy and outreach among its own members. This committee will establish the focus of National Hunger Awareness Day and the associated call to action.

Through the communication channels and outreach of each organization, the Committee intends to build visibility of Hunger Awareness Day and create an enhanced understanding of hunger in America. Hungerday.org will provide the tools necessary to raise awareness, issue calls to action, encourage individual and group participation in planned activities, and allow each the Committee's organizations to reach beyond their own membership to interested Americans in all walks of life.

The member organizations attending today's organizing meeting are listed below.

Advertising Council
American Farm Bureau
Bread for the World
Children's Defense Fund
Christian Reformed Church
Food Bank of Eastern Michigan
Food Research Action Coalition (FRAC)
Grocery Manufacturers of America
MAZON
National Association of Counties
National Restaurant Association
Piper Rudnick
Presbyterian Hunger Program
Share Our Strength
Society of St. Andrews
Souper Bowl of Caring
Taste of the NFL/Hunger Related Events
USDA Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services

For more information, or to contact America's Second Harvest, see their website at: www.secondharvest.org

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