|Hunger in America exists for over 50 million people. That is 1 in 6 of the U.S. population, including more than 1 in 5 children. This group exists to raise awareness of the complexities of the issue, to consider solutions, and to advocate for change.|
Howard G. Buffett, 57 year old son of Warren Buffett, grew up in Omaha, Nebraska dividing his time between agriculture, business, conservation, philanthropy, photography and politics. Besides operating a 1,500-acre family farm in central Illinois and overseeing three foundation-operated research farms: over 1,200 acres in Arizona, over 3,000 acres in Illinois, and 9,200 acres in South Africa, he devotes most of his time managing the Howard G. Buffett Foundation. This private charitable foundation gifts tens of millions of dollars annually in impoverished communities worldwide in an effort to improve living standards.
1997 appointed as a member of the Commission on Presidential Debates
2000 received the Aztec Eagle Award from the President of Mexico - highest honor bestowed on a foreign citizen by the Government of Mexico
2002 recognized by the Inter-American Institute for Cooperation on Agriculture as one of the most distinguished individuals in that field
2005 received the Will Owen Jones Distinguished Journalist of the Year Award
2007 appointed United Nations Goodwill Ambassador Against Hunger on behalf of the World Food Programme
2011 awarded the Triumph of Agriculture Exposition Agri Award, the World Ecology Award and the George McGovern Leadership Award
2012 awarded the National Farmers Union Meritorious Service to Humanity Award, the Columbia University Global Leadership Award and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Pennsylvania State University
Howard G. Buffett has visited over 100 countries, authored seven books on conservation, wildlife and the human condition. He has been published in The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.
In the Parade article Howard was asked what made him turn his attention from global hunger to hunger in America.
Before, I never understood how difficult things were in this country, and how they were getting worse. In America, hunger is hidden; people are ashamed of it. I was in Tucson at a food distribution [center] and noticed a woman walk in with three kids. She looked around and then walked back out. I later found out it was the first time she had ever asked for help, and she was embarrassed.Here are the three ways Howard Buffett is trying to achieve his goal:
Last year I attended a Thanksgiving dinner at Harris Elementary School right here in Decatur, where I learned that 92 percent of the kids are on free or reduced-cost lunches. I spoke with some parents who told me that school lunch is the best meal their kids get all day. That shocked me because the school sits in a community that has the largest food-processing facility in the world for corn and the second largest for soybeans; 1,500 to 2,000 train cars roll out of those plants and through these kids' neighborhoods every day. The irony of that is unbelievable.
In this country, the number of people who are living on the edge, who exist paycheck to paycheck, who have been foreclosed on, has exploded. If you're choosing between medicine or food, between school supplies for your kids or food, between paying the electric bill or food, those are tough choices—and they happen every day. Yet I have hope, because the single biggest difference between fighting global hunger and fighting hunger in this country is that I don't believe we can get global hunger down to zero. There will always be conflicts and infrastructure challenges [abroad]. But there's no reason we cannot put hunger out of business in America.
Map the Meal Gap: Feeding America first published the Map the Meal Gap project in early 2011, with the generous support of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and The Nielsen Company, to learn more about the face of hunger at the local level. In August, 2011, with the support of the ConAgra Foods Foundation, child food insecurity data was added to the project.
At the link you can interact with their map, which reflects data from 2009 and 2010, to begin learning how the residents in your community are struggling with hunger and what the anticipated needs will be to meet future goals. There is a donation link, a food bank locator, a "Tell Congress" take action link and further information about the project.
2014 Hunger in America Study: Hunger in America, also known as the Hunger Study, is the largest study of charitable food assistance in America. Hunger in America 2014 is the most recent in a series of Hunger Studies, which are conducted every four years. Feeding America is the primary sponsor of this study, with generous funding from the Howard G. Buffett Foundation.
The purpose of the Hunger in America 2014 study is two-fold. First, it will collect information on the current work of the Feeding America network of food banks. This includes talking to agencies that get food and grocery items from food banks (agency survey) and from the clients they serve (client survey). The information collected from this study will help Feeding America, and its network of food banks, to better understand the agencies they work with to provide hunger relief. Second, it will also identify issues faced by both the agencies and the clients they serve. Findings from this study will give Feeding America the information they need to fight hunger in America for the next several years. Feeding America will use the data to advocate for government assistance such as TEFAP, CSFP, and SNAP. The findings will also support fundraising efforts by helping to educate donors and the public about the scope of services provided by food banks.
Invest an Acre :The Howard G. Buffett Foundation, Feeding America and Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) has established Invest An Acre, an innovative partnership that engages U.S. farmers in helping provide food to their neighbors.
Through Invest An Acre, farmers are able to invest the proceeds from one acre or more of their crops in Feeding America to support their local food bank. This is the first effort to mobilize farmers on a national scale to support hunger relief.
Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, providing food assistance to people in every county through a network of more than 200 food banks.
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation brings resources to support this vital work by creating an opportunity for every U.S. farmer doing business with ADM to invest a portion of proceeds at the point of sale, either when the farmer signs a contract or delivers the crop.
ADM is one of the largest agricultural processors in the world. It operates the world’s premier crop origination and transportation network, connecting crops and markets in more than 75 countries. ADM transforms oilseeds, corn, wheat and cocoa into products for food, animal feed, industrial and energy uses.
Feeding America has 53 food banks operating in communities near ADM locations.
The Howard G. Buffett Foundation is underwriting all Feeding America costs as well as a public awareness campaign. ADM is managing the accounting and transactions with farmers and the local food banks. All of the proceeds from Invest An Acre will go towards helping the hungry in the local community.
In March of last year, Howard Buffett addressed the110th annual National Farmers Union (NFU) convention in La Vista, Nebraska and told those assembled that there are 1.5 million families in the United States in poverty.
We should be ashamed of that. That’s challenging our country’s soul. We tell people we feed the world, but we’re not feeding our own country.It bears repeating that hunger is "challenging our country's soul."
For those interested in donating: Feeding America:
When you donate to Feeding America your gift makes a big impact - every dollar you donate helps provide 8 meals to families struggling with hunger. As the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our food bank network members supply food to more than 37 million Americans each year, including 14 million children and 3 million seniors in all 50 states.