Five Grassroots Organizations Receive National Food Justice Award | Shore Fire Media

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19 February, 2013Print

Five Grassroots Organizations Receive National Food Justice Award

WhyHunger Announces 2013 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award Winners
WhyHunger, a leader in building the movement to end hunger and poverty, is pleased to announce the winners of the 2013 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award, a national grants program that recognizes outstanding community-based organizations that are fighting to end hunger and poverty in the United States. This year, five organizations received awards of $10,000 each to support their ongoing work to increase access to healthy food and promote social and economic justice in their communities. 

“This year’s strong pool of applicants served as an inspiring sign that hundreds of communities across the country are taking action to change their food systems from the ground up,” said Bill Ayres, WhyHunger founder and executive director. “From innovative ways to grow nutritious food to training programs that focus on health, economic development and activism, this year’s honorees embody the idea that solutions to the hunger problem in our country must go beyond a charitable model of feeding to a model of building community power, addressing economic and social justice and nourishing whole communities.” 

The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award was created in 1985 to support the most innovative and successful community-based food, hunger and poverty programs in the U.S. Over the years, WhyHunger has provided training, resources, networking opportunities and grant funds totaling $870,000 to support 170 grassroots organizations through the Awards program. 

In addition to the financial support, the winning organizations will convene in June to receive their awards at the 2013 WhyHunger Chapin Awards in New York City, participate in training and networking events and have access to WhyHunger’s full breadth of capacity-building services as a member of its Grassroots Action Network, which supports and connects thousands of organizations nationwide.

The 2013 Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award grantees include:

Adelante Mujeres, Forest Grove, OR 
Adelante Mujeres (Move Forward or Flourish, Women) promotes holistic education and empowerment of low-income Latina women and their families. Founded in 2002 to reach Latina women who were often relegated to the home, the organization has served over 1,400 families with programming focused on early childhood, youth and adult education, small business development, farmer training and access to local healthy food. The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award will fund the group's Nourish the Community Initiative, helping the Adelante Mujeres community empower participants to be engaged creators of health resources and to act as health advocates impacting the whole community.

La Mujer Obrera, El Paso, TX
Founded in 1981 by displaced female garment workers, La Mujer Obrera (The Working Woman) is run by women workers of Mexican heritage to address issues of economic justice and community development. Programs focus on creating a sustainable, just and dignified future for Latina women and their families through women’s empowerment and economic and community development initiatives. The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award will support La Mujer Obrera’s farmers market, mobile market, permaculture demonstration garden and the Mercado Mayapan, a vibrant microenterprise center and cultural space.

Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Chicago, IL 
Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO) addresses environmental justice and builds community power in the predominantly Mexican southwest Chicago neighborhood of Little Village. The group organizes for democracy and a voice in decisions about if, how, when and where development happens in the community, working to end pollution and toxic waste and increase public transit and green space in Little Village and throughout Chicago. The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award will fund the LVEJO Urban Agriculture Project, including laying the groundwork for the neighborhood’s first urban farm cooperative.

Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, Bloomington, IN 
Mother Hubbard's Cupboard is a client-choice food pantry that provides healthy, wholesome food to thousands of local residents in need – and a community organization that works together with its patrons to build sustainable long-term solutions to food insecurity. Founded in 1998 by two mothers who had themselves experienced food insecurity, the organization also now features thriving garden education and nutrition education programs. The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award will support the creation of a new Director of Education and Outreach position to strengthen Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard’s food justice work in the community.

SEEDS, Durham, NC
SEEDS (South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces) educates youth and adults through gardening, growing food and cultivating respect for life, for earth and for each other. Founded in 1994 by a community leader with a vision of transforming neighborhoods and lives through gardening, SEEDS now realizes that vision through a focus on young people. In addition to community gardeners’ plots and a youth-run market garden, SEEDS has after-school and summer programs as well as environmental education opportunities for the whole community. SEEDS will use the Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Award to strengthen the DIG (Durham Inner-City Gardeners) program, a paid entrepreneurial market garden program that employs and empowers at-risk teens. 

To learn more about the Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards, the Grassroots Action Network and WhyHunger, visit


About WhyHunger
WhyHunger is a leader in building the movement to end hunger and poverty by connecting people to nutritious, affordable food and by supporting grassroots solutions that inspire self-reliance and community empowerment. Founded in 1975 by the late Harry Chapin and current Executive Director Bill Ayres, WhyHunger works to put an end to hunger suffered by 49 million Americans and nearly 1 billion people worldwide. WhyHunger’s main programs include the National Hunger Hotline 1-866-3-HUNGRY, which refers individuals in need of emergency food assistance to soup kitchens, food banks, government nutrition programs and community organizations in their neighborhoods; the Grassroots Action Network, which provides information, networking opportunities, capacity building and access to over 8,000 anti-hunger and poverty community organizations across the United States and around the world; and Artists Against Hunger & Poverty which is supported by Bruce Springsteen, Michael McDonald, Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, Joss Stone, Darryl McDaniels, Jackson Browne, O.A.R, and many others. For more information, visit