Earlier today, I had the pleasure of congratulating 11 extraordinary individuals being recognized through the White House Champions of Change program for their work to tackle hunger in the United States and abroad.
The Champions recognized today are making improved access to healthy food a reality for millions of individuals in need. Innovative programs like the Community Food Advocates in New York City, Parents United for Healthy Schools/Padres Unidos para Escuelas Saludables in Chicago, and the Mandela Marketplace in Oakland, California are helping to empower families and communities and reducing the depth and severity of hunger in America. And the work of organizations like Thriive, Fort Valley State University College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology, and Catholic Medical Mission Board are taking on the fight against hunger worldwide.
USDA is no stranger to this important work. Our nutrition assistance programs are America's first line of defense against hunger and touch the lives of 1 in 4 Americans during the course of a year. They have never been more critical than they are today.
But we can’t do it alone. Federal, state and local governments, elected officials, community leaders, schools, citizen volunteers, businesses, faith and community-based organizations and agricultural producers must work together with persistence and creativity to help those less fortunate get the food they need.
We applaud the Champions for their groundbreaking efforts to improve access to affordable, healthy food here at home and around the world. Read their stories in their own words on the White House Champions of Change blog:
Kathy Goldman, Co-Founder, Community Food Advocates
Reverend Sally Allocca, Executive Director, Promoting Empowerment and Enrichment Resources
Jovita Flores, Manager, Parents United for Healthy Schools/Padres Unidos para Escuelas Saludables
Terrol Johnson, Co-Founder and President, Tohono O’odham Community Action
Dana Harvey, Executive Director, Mandela Marketplace
Joshua Williams, Founder, Joshua’s Heart Foundation
Dr. June M. Henton, Dean, Auburn University College of Human Sciences
Dr. Claudia Llanten, Catholic Medical Mission Board
Erik Schultz, Executive Director, Thriive
Dr. Govind Kannan, Dean, Fort Valley State University College of Agriculture, Family Sciences and Technology
Ambassador Kenneth M. Quinn, President, World Food Prize Foundation