Noreen Sprinstead 2019

Amy Martin

Our 2020 Impact: Rising to Meet Unprecedented Challenges

By Noreen Springstead

Around the world and here at WhyHunger, 2020 was an incredibly challenging year. Hunger became front-page news as the number of food insecure people soared to 50 million in the U.S. and 2 billion worldwide. And who can forget the devastating images of miles-long lines of cars and families waiting for food?

Thanks to your support, the hard work of our staff and Board, and WhyHunger’s sharp analysis and effective strategies, we were able to rapidly scale our work to meet immediate human needs and invest in long-term solutions to hunger locally and globally. Together, we rose to the unprecedented challenges and 2020 was WhyHunger’s most impactful year ever.

Hunger is not a new problem. The pandemic exacerbated and exposed the deep injustices at the root of hunger—poverty, racism, health inequities, and environmental destruction—that WhyHunger and our partners have been challenging for decades. I am proud to share a few highlights from our 2020 impact. For more detail, check out the full report.

Doubled our revenue from 2019 to 2020, including a 218% increase in individual giving and our 5th consecutive $1M+ Hungerthon campaign.

Connected 1,036,065 individuals to healthy food and essential services in their communities.

Mobilized $845,223 in emergency COVID response funding to 42 partner organizations in 8 countries, with a focus on supporting communities of color, like this alliance of urban farms in the Bronx growing and distributing fresh produce to their most vulnerable neighbors.

Supported innovative solutions to hunger in 50 communities in 25 countries, like these women in El Salvador raising pigs to feed their families and communities.

Invested $608,653 in grassroots initiatives across the U.S. to bolster healthy food access, childhood nutrition, community organizing, and Black food sovereignty, like this collective of Black churches growing and providing healthy food to their communities.

Benefited from PLAY ON, a primetime TV music special featuring stars like Kevin Bacon, Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Bon Jovi, LL Cool J, Sara Bareilles, and Ziggy Marley and raising over $7.3M to support WhyHunger and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.

We are deeply grateful for your support, which made this important work possible. If you’re able, I invite you to donate again to help WhyHunger sustain and grow this new level of vitality and impact.

Even as the world begins to re-open, the effects of COVID-19 will linger for years. Hunger will no doubt be the long tail of this pandemic, and our society is at an important crossroads. We either double-down on the charity model, collecting and distributing food in an endless cycle. Or we chart a different path by investing deeply in solutions that empower communities, increase access to healthy food, support local food and farm economies, and address racism and other social inequities at the root of persistent hunger.

WhyHunger and our partners have chosen the transformative path, and we hope you will join us.

Let’s keep building a better future together,

Noreen Springstead
Executive Director, WhyHunger

About us

Kids Can Make a Difference is a program of iEARN (International Education and Resource Network), the world's largest non-profit global network. iEARN enables teachers and youth to use the Internet and other technologies to collaborate on projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world.

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