A New Year’s Message from Tony Hall

January 27, 2016

Tony P. Hall, Executive Director Emeritus, Alliance to End Hunger

Happy New Year to my friends and members of the Alliance to End Hunger.

Ten years ago, the Alliance to End Hunger began its journey to engage diverse individuals and organizations to build the public and political will to end hunger. Since then, we have met with success and continuing promise, with the past year being no exception. I am proud of our ever-growing and evolving membership—non-profits, universities, corporations, and faith communities, just to name a few—that we have brought together over the years to engage in conversation about ending hunger and improving lives here in the United States and around the world.

2015 was especially exciting for the Alliance. As many of you know, we marked 10 years as an independent organization, and celebrated tremendous growth, both within our organization and as a broader coalition. Having expanded our membership to include leading voices in various sectors, we are continuing to expand our collective knowledge and expertise in issues of domestic and international hunger. In my own collective experience fighting hunger in the US and around the world, I have witnessed how complex the issue of hunger can be, and that different contexts can drive food insecurity in places as different as rural Ethiopia and my hometown of Dayton, Ohio.

With the Alliance’s continuing growth and evolution, we have been able to drastically increase our ability to work with our members to engage Congress, the public, and community and industry leaders, on strategies to end hunger and malnutrition. In 2015 alone, we reached approximately 2,300 individuals through more than 40 events, ranging from briefings and conferences, to roundtable discussions and face-to-face meetings. We continue to receive tremendous feedback from many of these events, and we plan to host and participate in numerous events again in the upcoming year.  In the context of the upcoming national 2016 elections, we are provided even more motivation to ensure that issues of hunger and poverty are highlighted in upcoming debates; and as a Steering Committee member of the Vote to End Hunger movement, we are committed to “raising the question” of hunger onto the national stage.

2015 was also a terrific year for domestic and international programs. Domestically, we continued our series of Come to the Table summits with member organization ProMedica, and have continued our series of summits to address the links between hunger and health, with outreach to policy leaders and healthcare professionals. Our work to reinvigorate our Hunger Free Communities initiative in local and regional communities, and the launching of our new Advocacy Playbook for national hunger volunteers, have also contributed to increased public engagement. Internationally, our work with civil society coalitions has helped our partner alliances overseas build the capacities they need to build an enabling policy environment to increase food security and access to nutrition and efficient agricultural practices. This initiative, funded by USAID under Feed the Future, has led our National Alliance Partnership Program to expand to Ghana, Guatemala, Malawi, and Zambia, in addition to our work already being conducted in Tanzania and Uganda.

Looking back, I am grateful for the remarkable growth and success that we experienced this past year. As I reflect on the various milestones that we have achieved, I am encouraged by our continuing progress to help end hunger.  Of course, none of this would be possible without the support of all our members and friends. As I look ahead, I continue to feel energized by the support we are gaining and the progress we have seen; and I continue on a path of hopeful determination that we will end hunger at home and abroad by 2030.