Leading Anti-Hunger Orgs Launch “Vote to End Hunger”
July 22, 2020
Washington, D.C., July 22, 2020 — Leading anti-hunger organizations in the United States are relaunching a campaign to draw attention to the growing issues of hunger and poverty during the 2020 elections. Vote to End Hunger (VTEH) encourages participants to ask candidates: “If elected, what will you do to end hunger, alleviate poverty, and create opportunity in the U.S. and worldwide?”
Before the COVID-19 crisis and economic fallout, 38 million people in the U.S. of all ages were impoverished and 37 million lived in households that struggled with hunger. Feeding America estimates the number of people facing hunger could increase by the end of the year to 54 million due to the crisis. According to a study by the Brookings Institute, rates of household food insecurity have doubled, and rates of childhood food insecurity quadrupled. A recent study by Northwestern University based on U.S. Census data found that 4 in 10 Black and Latino households with children are struggling to feed their families.
Globally, the World Food Programme (WFP) warns the number of people experiencing extreme hunger could double by the end of this year, from 135 million to 265 million people. The WFP and UNICEF also warn that 370 million children globally are missing out on school meals. For millions of kids it is the only meal they get a day.
In addition to this current health crisis, the issues of poverty, hunger, and disparate opportunity are further elevated by the re-energized racial equity movement in the U.S. and globally. These issues disproportionately impact people of color.
Vote to End Hunger is led by a Steering Committee of eight organizations: A Place at the Table, Alliance to End Hunger, Bread for the World Institute, Feeding America, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC), Meals on Wheels America, Share Our Strength, and Universities Fighting World Hunger. VTEH was first launched for the 2016 elections and was active in the 2018 midterms.
Quotes from VTEH organizations:
“We need bold, systemic ideas for ending hunger and poverty now more than ever before,” stated Tom Colicchio, Co-Founder of A Place at the Table. “We need to elect leaders who think big, who know ending hunger is possible and who will make it a national priority. Vote to End Hunger is such an important 2020 initiative because every human being deserves access to healthy food.”
“With the number of people experiencing food crises around the world potentially doubling due to COVID-19, we need elected officials in the United States who will exercise strong leadership on the world stage to address the pandemic and to prevent a devastating setback on hunger and malnutrition,” said Asma Lateef, Interim Executive Director of the Alliance to End Hunger and Director of Bread for the World Institute
Kate Leone, Chief Government Relations Officer at Feeding America said, “Millions of people who struggle with hunger face barriers that can discourage them from participating in the voting process. They may be less likely to vote for multiple reasons, including lacking information about the process, having to relocate frequently for employment and housing reasons, and navigating complicated voter registration rules. We are excited about being part of the Vote to End Hunger campaign because we know we can help our neighbors get the information on why, how, and when to vote.”
“Polls have repeatedly shown that ending hunger is a goal that the American people fully support.” said Luis Guardia, President of the Food Research & Action Center. “Voters need to know where candidates stand on addressing hunger, poverty, and on creating opportunity. This is particularly vital at this time when COVID-19 has contributed to unprecedented levels of food insecurity and has highlighted stark and entrenched racial, ethnic, and income disparities in the United States.”