Hunger Action Network is a statewide membership of direct food providers, advocates and other individuals whose goal is to end hunger and its root causes, including poverty, in New York State.

Hunger Action has always combined direct service with advocacy in support of long term solutions to hunger. We seek to increase the amount of nutritious food distributed by emergency food programs, while also assisting low-income individuals in gaining more control over their own food supplies through programs such as community gardens, food buying clubs, and community supported agriculture. We help low-income households access the various federal nutrition programs such as food stamps, WIC, and school and summer meals. Hunger Action also promotes legislative action on issues such as a higher minimum wage; job creation; universal health care; child care; tax reform; and, increased access to education and training.

Hunger Action Network has offices in Albany and New York.

Throughout its 20-year history, the Hunger Action Network of New York State has established a reputation for leadership among anti-poverty and anti-hunger community-based advocacy organizations in the state. This reputation has been largely based on our ability to work in collaboration with diverse communities and organizations statewide and to effect policy changes that benefit our own low-income members, as well as other low-income individuals and communities throughout the state.

Welfare reform monitoring and advocacy and TANF reauthorization are core components of our anti-poverty efforts. As one of the few statewide membership organizations of welfare recipients, low-income individuals, community based organizations, emergency food programs, faith-based organizations, and citizen advocates, we possess the necessary broad-based alliances required to effectively organize and influence key policy makers. Our Board of Directors represents nine regions of New York State. This statewide representation is particularly important because of the devolution policies of federal and state welfare reform laws. Through our statewide members and coalitions, we are also able to impact government policies at the county level; this is vital, as many New York State welfare programs are administered at the local level.

Hunger Action is also an experienced and effective coalition builder throughout the state. We work closely on local, regional and state levels with other anti-poverty and welfare rights groups such as Welfare Reform Network, Suffolk Welfare Warriors, Welfare Rights Initiative, EMPOWER, Greater Upstate Law Project, Community Voices Heard (founded by Hunger Action), NYS AFL-CIO, Fiscal Policy Institute, Citizen Action and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME).

Some of Hunger Action’s accomplishments in recent years include helping to pass the New York State college work-study and internship bill to allow these activities to count as TANF-approved work activities; we were the only anti-poverty organization cited in the Governor’s 1999 Budget for the need to increase the Earned Income Disregard; and we published one of the first workfare survey reports, entitled Workfare: Workers Expect Paychecks (A Survey of the Performance of Workfare According to its Participants). Additional budgetary and legislative successes in the past two years include $60 million for a wage subsidy program to help create jobs for welfare beneficiaries, a $16 million increase in funding to emergency food programs, and ES2 campaign gains of $20 million for transportation assistance and $283 million for child care assistance.

Some of Hunger Action’s current programs and activities include: the Welfare Made a Difference National Campaign, Welfare Reform Network’s Federal Committee, Empire State Economic Security Campaign (ES2), Faith and Hunger Network (FHN), Empire State Jobs Bill Coalition (ESJ), Welfare Accountability and Monitoring Project, Hunger Awareness Day, food stamp outreach, and community gardening and food recovery.

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