America's Second Harvest's 'One Big Table' Reaches Across the Nation for Hunger Awareness Day

America's Second Harvest
Wednesday, 2 June 2004

Communities across the nation will join together as the America's Second Harvest network recognizes National Hunger Awareness Day June 3, 2004, by hosting One Big Table events. America's Second Harvest, the nation's largest hunger-relief charity, will mobilize its network of more than 200 food banks and food rescue programs, 50,000 agencies and one million volunteers to set tables across America in every community as part of the One Big Table initiative.

One Big Table is a national program aimed at ending hunger in America by raising awareness and building hope for the hungry in our country. The events held in each community are unique, but share the basic principle that every American deserves a place at the table. Local One Big Table events are listed at www.hungerday.org , and will focus the community's attention on the persistent problem of hunger facing more than 35 million Americans.

Each year, 13 million children are hungry or food insecure -- and the need grows during the summer months when school feeding programs are not available. For these millions of families, food insecurity is a way of life. Too many people find that their earnings don't meet the day-to-day costs of living; rent, day-care, utilities and medical costs far exceed the wages they bring home or the benefits they receive.

Highlighted Events Include:

-- Best Trade of the Day -- Thursday June 3rd, America's Second Harvest, the four Chicago financial exchanges (Chicago Stock Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Board Options Exchange), the American Stock Exchange LLC (New York), the Boston Stock Exchange, the Pacific Exchange (San Francisco), and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange come together and show their support for National Hunger Awareness Day. Each exchange is asking its staff and members to "trade" their lunch to feed 20 hungry children for every $5. The money raised will help to secure food for low-income children in the summertime when the safety net of school lunches is not available.

-- DC Children to Eat at "One Big Little Table" -- The new ConAgra Foods Kids Cafe, located at the Make a Difference Center in Anacostia's Washington View Apartments, is operational -- working to help fight DC's child hunger problem by serving free, hot and nutritious after- school meals to hungry youth. The grand opening celebration of the new Kids Cafe includes an outdoor barbecue for 100 local children.

The various One Big Table events are made possible by the support of individuals, corporations, and government agencies across the country. But in order to build awareness about domestic hunger, and to strengthen our movement at the grassroots level, we need every American to join us at the table.

To help unify the One Big Table initiative, Molly O'Neill, award-winning author and former New York Times food columnist, will be collecting recipes online to create an intimate portrait of American cuisine and spotlight the vital connection between food and community in a cookbook that will benefit the work of the America's Second Harvest network. Her celebration of the ways in which America's diversity, and the strength of our communities is reflected in the meals we prepare and share is a testament to the spirit of One Big Table.

National Hunger Awareness Day 2004, June 3, is an opportunity for every American who cares about their hungry neighbors to pull up a chair and join together at the table. By visiting www.hungerday.org , individuals, corporations, community groups, and organizations can learn more about how to get involved with One Big Table at both the national and local levels.

National Hunger Awareness Day was first recognized in 2002, as a way to provide a platform for America's Second Harvest's 216 affiliated food banks and food-rescue organizations, and as many as 2000 local hunger-relief charities and agencies to publicize the work they do. More than 23 million Americans -- including nine million children -- depend on help each year from this national network of food banks and food rescue organizations, community and faith-based charities, and government agencies. To learn more visit www.hungerday.org .

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

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