Building on our commitment made at the 2011 Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI) meeting, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger has dramatically increased the size and scope of our volunteer initiative: Ending Hunger through Citizen Service, with the generous support of Con Agra Foods. This vital support has enabled the Coalition to create a comprehensive toolkit and website for volunteers and hunger organizations in order to help us implement high-impact, long-lasting activities to reduce hunger, improve access to nutritious foods, build the capacities of nonprofit groups, and enable hungry families to move towards long-term economic self-sufficiency.
On October 9, 2012, with the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter's Office of Civic and Volunteer Engagement, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the federal Corporation for National and Community Service, and ConAgra Foods, the New York City Coalition Against Hunger co-sponsored a successful conference in Philadelphia to formally launch our Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service initiative. The Coalition used the occasion to officially unveil our website and release our new handbook to give Americans better tools to volunteer to fight domestic hunger: www.hungervolunteer.org
Since the launch of our CGI American commitment, the Coalition has recruited over 10,000 volunteers; more than 2,500 of these volunteers performed outreach on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) and summer meals programs. We have engaged student groups in community surveys and mapping, engaged corporations in phone banking to build school breakfast participation, and highlighted best practices in high impact volunteer service for organizations from California to New York. We’ve also engaged volunteers to advocate for the improved governmental and economic policies that are needed to fight hunger at its root causes. Our CGI America Commitment to Action aims to change the way that people think about – and act on – anti-hunger service by forging partnerships between corporations, student groups, religious congregations, nonprofit organizations, and government agencies to implement projects with the greatest long-term impacts.
(Photo courtesy of Holly Homer)