"In the world's wealthiest nation,no child should grow up hungry"
~ JOSH WACHS By Marlene Caroselli, Ed.D. E
very year, 15 million children in the world die of hunger. The World Health Organization offers further sobering statistics about our world: One-third of the people living
in it are well-fed; one-third under-fed, and one-third are starving. You've no doubt put America's population in the well-fed third. And yet, one in six Americans go hungry each day. Finding North is a new documentary produced by Chef Tom Colicchio and directed by his wife Lori Silverbush. It explores the devastating impact of hunger in the U.S. through the lens of people living in Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Mississippi. However, the film also gives hope for a solution. Finding North highlights the work being done by Share Our Strength®, a non-profit organization aimed at ending child hunger in America. Founder and CEO Billy Shore is featured in the film along with actor Jeff Bridges, national spokesperson for Share Our Strength No Kid Hungry® campaign. The film underscores the fundamental premise of the campaign: that hunger in the United States is a solvable problem. Josh Wachs, the chief strategy officer for Share Our Strength,
elaborates upon this pressing problem: "In the world's wealthiest nation, no child should grow up hungry. Over the course of a year, however, more than 16 million
children in America cannot count on having enough nutritious food. That's nearly one in five kids in America today who struggles with hunger. Share Our Strength, No Kid Hungry® campaign is ending childhood hunger by connecting kids to the healthy food they need, every day. No Kid Hungry® brings together governors, mayors,
businesses, chefs, federal and state agencies, educators and community leaders to connect children at risk of hunger with food and nutrition programs where they live, learn and play. No Kid Hungry® also teaches families how to cook healthy, affordable meals through Cooking Matters® and invests in community organizations that fight hunger."
20 A Distinctive style . com Asked specifically about the work he does, Wachs offers
these insights. "My work with No Kid Hungry® is much more than just a job or career—it's the daily demonstration of an inherent desire to help our nation become stronger and healthier by protecting our most vulnerable citizens, our children." He adds, "Since joining Share Our Strength,
® it's become
clear that while childhood hunger in America is a prevalent problem, it's also a solvable one. I was surprised at the depth of the problem of childhood hunger in the wealthiest nation. At the same time, I know we have abundant resources available from federal programs and throughout the private sector, so I know we should be able to solve this problem. It's about connecting kids with those resources that exist. I firmly believe that the way we'll solve the most pressing social issues in our nation will be to connect the dots between the private sector (businesses), the government and non-profits, which is what Share Our Strength's,® strategy is based on." Astronomer Carl Sagan, paralleling Share our Strength's
concerns, once observed, "Recent research shows that many children who do not have enough to eat wind up with diminished capacity to understand and learn. Children don't have to be starving for this to happen. Even mild under nutrition—the kind most common among poor people in America—can do it." Feeding our children today bespeaks hope for the future as
well-nourished children are children more capable of learn- ing. And if school truly is "a building with four walls and to- morrow inside," then ShareOur Strength® and its many affili- ated bridge-builders are making that tomorrow a much more promising possibility.