How can we create a groundswell of support to end childhood hunger in America? On this episode of Add Passion & Stir, No Kid Hungry champion Dorothy McAuliffe shares her insights on what became her signature issue as the First Lady of Virginia. She talks with chef Jason Alley about building awareness and tackling the issue of childhood hunger in Virginia and beyond. “As a first spouse, I learned pretty early that you do have an opportunity with this bully pulpit to raise awareness and to elevate the work,” she says. Chef Alley works hard to bring attention to child hunger in Richmond, VA – in part because he grew up experiencing food insecurity himself. “Food insecurity leaves a lasting impression,” he shares. “It’s inexcusable that we have hungry people in a country that’s this wealthy and produces this much food. That we have 13M hungry children… is embarrassing. It’s a travesty. And it’s entirely fixable.” McAuliffe agrees. “Even one child on one day experiencing hunger and food insecurity in our commonwealth or our country is one too many,” she believes.
McAuliffe’s commitment to the No Kid Hungry campaign has had tremendous impact on Virginia’s kids. When host Billy Shore asks her what worked, McAuliffe says that her experience proves that although child hunger is not a partisan issue, advocates still need to do their homework and connect hunger with educational and economic outcomes to help people see that it’s an investment in our country not a “government handout.” She cites improving test scores, creating a more prepared future work force, and boosting local economies as ways we can make the case. Chef Alley takes a more personal approach in using his own bully pulpit to raise awareness. Each year, he hosts a dinner for chefs from all over the country to raise money for the Feed More Food Bank in Richmond. “When I talk about my story… there’s a level of sometimes confusion, sometimes shock on people’s faces when they realize that I’m the face of hunger,” he notes. “It’s not exclusively the people in low-income housing projects, or [specific areas], it’s everywhere. The face of hunger is looking in the mirror sometimes,” he shares. He thinks bringing attention to the face of hunger is the most powerful thing he can do. “We can’t give $100K to the food bank twice a year, but what we can do is use our platform to do good work and bring attention to these issues.”
Learn from this inspiring and practical conversation about how to create real change in your community.