Ending Hunger

By Kates, Robert W. | Focus, Summer 1992 | Go to article overview

Ending Hunger


Kates, Robert W., Focus


In the midst of a troubled economy, a vision of a better America and a better world flourishes in the Medford Declaration to End Hunger in the United States -- a vision that begins:

We can end hunger in America and we can end it now.

The Declaration was drafted by representatives of national hunger organizations and was publicly released April 6, 1992 in Washington, D.C. and other cities across the country. It calls for a two-step effort to eliminate hunger in America. In the short term, the United States can virtually eliminate hunger by 1995 by more fully utilizing existing public programs in conjunction with the extraordinary efforts of hundreds of thousands of voluntary food providers in local communities. In the longer term, economic self-reliance can be promoted so that work raises families out of poverty.

So far, the Medford Declaration has been endorsed by over 2,500 leaders at the national, state, and local levels, and by more than 1,000 organizations representing a combined membership of over 100 million people from every state in the nation. In 1989 the World Hunger Program helped develop a similar initiative for use internationally -- The Bellagio Declaration -- which aims to end half the world's hunger by the year 2000.

Together, these declarations comprise a comprehensive yet practical program to end half of world hunger in the 1990s by building on the best existing programs and policies for overcoming hunger. They set goals that are achievable, use programs that have been tested or are in place, and seek support across the spectrum of interests that often divide us. The goals of Bellagio and Medford were carefully distilled from a much larger list of urgent world needs and concerns by asking the question, "Can it really be done?"

Yes, hunger can be halved in the world and virtually eliminated in America because it has already been done. …

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