This post originally appeared on the USDA blog on February 23, 2011.
USDA took one step closer to ending hunger in America today with the announcement of 14 Hunger-Free Communities Grantees. The important goal to end hunger and improve domestic nutrition is a top priority for the Obama administration, and an aspiration our innumerable partners have rallied around.
Those commitments from non-profit and faith-based organizations, state and local governments, private industry, and from the public to end hunger in their communities is nothing short of amazing. It’s a movement that has gained strength, in part because it’s an achievable goal. It’s also becoming clear that if we worktogetherto ensure our nation’s hungry people have access to nutritious foods, much headway can be made on the front.
Our 14 Hunger-Free Communities Grantees and their network of partners have supported this mission by designing innovative projects to address hunger at the community level. While some of our grantees will be providing outreach to ensure those in need have access to nutrition assistance and education resources, others will be conducting research to determine the extent and causes of hunger and developing plans to eradicate it once and for all.
We can end hunger in America…but there is no one solution. The good news is that those working on these grants share this belief. While USDA’s nutrition programs create an effective foundation, we know that it takes a variety of approaches, large and small, local and national, to reach all of those in need of assistance.Youare the key. You know your community best, you are familiar with your community’s existing resources, and your creative solutions are abundant.
What can you do right now? For starters, consider volunteering with local organizations like our Hunger-Free Communities grantees and their partners. You can find out more about our Grantees and the work they are doing by visiting our website.
So whether it’s working to distribute meals at local food pantry or engaging local businesses to alleviate food insecurity in your community, we urge you to join the movement!
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Kevin Concannon is the U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services.