Here are some key institutions and agencies that focus on the issue of hunger and food security. Look through their sites to learn about their work, the communities that they reach, and the studies that they have sponsored.
A group of Catholics and Protestants met in October 1972 to explore how people of faith could mobilize to influence U.S. policies that address the causes of hunger. Under the leadership of Reverend Arthur Simon, more than 500 people had joined together by 1974 to advocate for hungry people. As the initiative grew, Bread for the World expanded to address efforts to end hunger in nations around the world. The organization seeks to educate the public about the issue of hunger; works to advocate for hunger policies at the local, state, and national levels; and raises funds to distribute food to needy areas.
Established in 1962, the United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian agency devoted to the fight against hunger. In 2008, the WFP provided food for some 102 million people in 78 countries. The people assisted included those in emergency and relief operations; school children; displaced persons; refugees; and those affected by HIV/AIDS.
The vision of WFP is to have a world in which every man, woman and child has access at all times to the food needed for an active and healthy life. Without food, there can be no sustainable peace, no democracy, and no development.
Since its founding in 1976, World Hunger Education Services has worked to undertake programs that:
- Inform the community of people involved in issues of hunger and poverty, the general public, and policymakers, about the causes, extent, and efforts to end hunger and poverty in the U.S. and the world.
- Promote understanding by integrating ethical, religious, social, economic, political, and scientific perspectives on discussions of hunger and poverty.
- Facilitate communication and networking among those who are working for solutions to the problem.
- Promote individual and collective commitment to solutions to the hunger and poverty that confront hundreds of millions of people around the world.
UNITED STATES ORGANIZATIONS
The Food Research Action Center is the leading national nonprofit organization working to improve public policies and public-private partnerships to eradicate hunger and undernutrition in the U.S. FRAC works with hundreds of national, state and local nonprofit organizations, public agencies, and corporations to address hunger and its root cause, poverty.
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), replacing the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service. NIFA’s mission is to advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs of the land grant universities and other partner organizations.
Feeding Indiana’s Hungry (FIsH) is a public-private partnership established in 2006 to link hunger service providers, food producers, and processors from around the state. The intent of this collaboration is to improve the quality of life for Hoosiers in 92 counties; deliver services more efficiently and effectively; facilitate the development of a charitable outlet for donation of surplus commodities; and participate in a proactive initiative to highlight the importance of Indiana agriculture.
Gleaners Food Bank was formed in 1980 “to end hunger by engaging individuals and communities to provide food for people in need.” They obtain food donations from federal and state governments, major wholesale and retail food outlets, and food drives conducted by businesses, clubs, religious groups, and other organizations. Gleaners secures, stores, and redistributes food to more than 400 qualified charities in Central and Southeastern Indiana, including daycare centers, shelters for battered women and children, homeless shelters, soup kitchens, faith-based nonprofits, and others.
The program, which is part of the Department of Foods and Nutrition of Purdue University, maintains a food assistance directory and resources available to emergency food programs. Staff members work with individuals to provide nutrition and food safety information as well as promote awareness of the issues of hunger in the state of Indiana.
The Directory of Indiana Food Assistance Organizations lists nearly 2000 food assistance organizations around Indiana, including cooperative extension educators and food banks.