On Wednesday, September 16, the Hunger Center hosted an online audience of supporters for the 2020 Hunger Leadership Awards. Award recipients included Rep. Barbara Lee (CA-13); Stephen and Ayesha Curry and the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation; the AARP Foundation and its president Lisa Marsh Ryerson; Jim Weill and the Rev. David Beckmann; and Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow alum Matt Newell-Ching.
"With rates of hunger skyrocketing across the U.S. due to the economic turmoil of COVID-19, and with food banks and pantries overwhelmed by the demand, it's easy to feel hopeless," said Executive Director Shannon Maynard. "Our award recipients are proving every day that hunger is solvable, through their hard work and dedication to the belief that no one should have to go hungry."
Featuring a mix of live and prerecorded video, the event highlighted voices of leaders from the Hunger Center's network, including Emerson and Leland Hunger Fellows and alums, Zero Hunger Interns, and former Hunger Leadership Award recipients, and promoted new online anti-hunger initiatives like the End Hunger in 30 Challenge, beginning October 1st.
2020 Award Recipients
Rep. Barbara Lee
My advice to new leaders and young people in the anti-hunger movement is to get involved locally. During this pandemic there is no shortage of people and groups in your community that need your talent and enthusiasm. By addressing hunger you are making a direct impact in people's lives. Stay involved and keep up the important work.Rep. Barbara Lee, 2020 Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Hunger Leadership Award Recipient
Stephen & Ayesha Curry and the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation
While we’re making progress in Oakland, there are still too many kids not getting enough to eat across the country. We’re facing an urgent hunger crisis in America right now: 1 in 4 children may go hungry this year. It doesn’t have to be this way. We need our government to act on systemic solutions to feed children and families in need. Together, with our partners, we will continue to advocate for a country where every child has access to the nutritious food they need to thrive.Stephen and Ayesha Curry, Founders, Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation
AARP Foundation and Lisa Marsh Ryerson
We have everything we need to solve hunger. What we are lacking is the political will and a coordinated effort. Those actually don't cost a thing.Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President, AARP Foundation; 2020 Corporate Partner Award Recipient
Rev. David Beckmann
Countries like Bangladesh and Ethiopia have made tremendous progress against poverty and hunger over the last generation. We know how to overcome hunger. That's certainly true here in the United States, and it's the right thing to do.David Beckmann, 2020 Lifetime Achievement Hunger Leadership Award Recipient
We can despite all our problems well afford to eliminate hunger and eliminate poverty. We need to be serious about it: to have the political will to do it; to eliminate barriers, including racist attitudes toward low-income programs; to build up these programs, build wages. This is a job we can do.Jim Weill, 2020 Lifetime Achievement Hunger Leadership Award Recipient
The only way for us to solve hunger is if all of us find the resolve to get up every day and fight for it, and demand it, and say that, "Yes, this is the world we want to live in." If enough of us do that, we can. It's not inevitable that we will, but it's achievable if all of us make it a priority.Matt Newell-Ching, 2020 Hunger Fellow Alum Award Recipient
The Hunger Leadership Awards are presented each year to outstanding leaders in the movement to end hunger and its root causes. The event, typically held in Washington, D.C., was held entirely online this year, and featured a panel discussion on effective responses to hunger with award recipients. The ceremony concluded with voices from leaders in the Hunger Center's network on why the believe that hunger is solvable.
The Hunger Center is grateful to General Mills, PepsiCo, KraftHeinz, Walmart, and all sponsors and individual contributors for their generous support of the 2020 Hunger Leadership Awards, and of our work.