The Anti-Hunger Coalition (AHC) is comprised of leaders from agriculture, business and industry, faith-based organizations, government and more. Supported by a grant from the Delaware Community Foundation, the Coalition has been working to identify goals, objectives and measurements to make significant contributions towards alleviating hunger in the state of Delaware.
“The efforts of the Coalition members are truly remarkable,” said Kelly Whitmarsh, a member of the Coalition and University of Delaware graduate student who wrote her master’s thesis on the work of the group. “Utilizing current evaluation methods, such as stakeholder analysis, the AHC worked to identify key individuals in the community who could make a strategic impact on this worthwhile cause which has yielded terrific results.”
In a recent report to the Delaware Community Foundation’s Grant Committee, the Anti-Hunger Coalition has been successful in assisting Delawareans struggling with hunger:
- Together with Delaware Health and Social Services the coalition has successfully worked to open food closets in all of the state service centers. The closets are operated by our volunteers and the project has been funded by the Acierno Family Foundation and AstraZeneca
- With assistance from members of the Anti-Hunger Coalition, we have implemented a new senior feeding program, the Commodity Supplemental Food Program. The program is sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture and provides a free monthly food box to Delawareans over the age of 60 who meet income qualifications.
- Working with staff from Delaware Health and Social Services and elected officials, the Anti-Hunger Coalition helped to start the dialogue to pass Senate Bill 255, legislation to opt out of the state prohibition of making food stamps available to individuals convicted of a drug felony. The bill passed the senate, but never made it out of caucus in the house.
- The Children’s Feeding task force also assisted in helping to grow our Backpack Program from zero children to 1,418 by the conclusion of the 2009-2010 school year. The task force focused its efforts on awareness and funding.
- In partnership with Nemours and other community leaders, the Anti-Hunger Coalition was successful in bringing new attention to the issue of universal school breakfast in Delaware schools. To date a fiscal analysis has been conducted and policy work continues.
“I am proud of the progress the Anti-Hunger Coalition has made to date,” said our President and CEO Patricia Beebe. “Looking ahead there is still a lot to be done as we tackle the issue of hunger in our community. However, I am confident that through collaboration we can work to ensure that all Delawareans have access to healthy foods.”
“The Anti-Hunger Coalition is a great example of a public private partnership,” said Julie Miro Wenger, Director of the Delaware Food Industry Council and chair of the Children’s Feeding subcommittee. “Because of the work of the business community along with the food bank and state government we were able to increase funding and participation for a program send children home with nutritious food in their backpacks on the weekends.”
“The Anti-Hunger Coalition is a perfect example of why the Delaware Community Foundation’s funds collaborations that encourage the state’s nonprofit organizations to work closely together,” said Stephen Lamb, Chairman of the Delaware Community Foundation’s grants committee. “We believe they have made great strides in the past two years in helping people statewide who are struggling with putting food on the table for their families.”
Among the Anti-Hunger Coalition’s priorities for the coming year:
- Further expansion of our Children’s Feeding Programs, specifically Backpack, Kids Café, Summer and After-School Feeding
- Development of a warehouse for school supplies for teachers who work in low-income districts
- Further expansion of the Commodity Supplemental Food Program
- Secure passage of legislation for providing food stamps to drug offenders
- Expansion of produce programs for low-income Delawareans
- Continue to work on implementing a universal school breakfast program in the state of Delaware