While issues like border security drew away the media spotlight in our nation’s capital, hunger in the Latino community was the focus of the third annual NO MAS HAMBRE Summit. The latest study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found that one in four Latino households and nearly a third of those with children don’t know where they will find their next meal. LATINO Magazine has spearheaded efforts to bring this issue to the forefront, reaching out to government officials, community leaders and anti-hunger advocates. “NO MAS HAMBRE encourages Latinos to take action,” explained LATINO Editor Alfredo Estrada. “Through educating our community, we engage it.”
The event began with keynote remarks by Rep. Michelle Luján Grisham (D-NM). “I know you know the stats, I know you know how big this problem is, I know you know that it’s growing,” Grisham said, pointing out that it does not take a bipartisan effort to eradicate hunger. The Congresswoman emphasized the need for action at both federal and state levels, alluding to her family’s legacy of public service in New Mexico.
Several roundtable discussions throughout the day explored ways to raise awareness of hunger in the Latino community. The first included Roxana Barillas, director of Hispanic engagement with First Book, a nonprofit that has provided over 115 million books to children; Pamela Phillips, representing the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) at USDA; Angela Arboleda, Herbalife’s Vice President of Government and Community Affairs; and Roberto Melara, the partner relations manager with the Capital Area Food Bank.
The second featured Anthony Granado, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops; Teresa Chapa, National Hispanic Medical Association (NHMA); Rebecca Middleton, Alliance to End Hunger; and Lisa Davis, Feeding America.
Feeding America is involved in food assistance through a network of 200 food banks. They provide help to 37 million low-income persons each year, distributing 4 million pounds of food. “Of the 120 food banks that do SNAP outreach enrollment, more than 70 have programs specifically targeted to Latinos,” said Davis, its senior vice president of government relations.
Following this was a special presentation by AARP of the award-winning film Hungry in the West End, directed by John Martin, which depicts the plight of the elderly in Providence, RI. The AARP Foundation is the founding partner of NO MAS HAMBRE and works to combat hunger with the Drive to End Hunger campaign and other initiatives.
The final panel brought together Alex Garcia-Rivera and April Kelly-Drummond from Denny’s, as well as Rita Jaramillo, chair of the National Latino Children’s Institute (NLCI), and Debbie Shore, co-founder of Share our Strength (SOS). Shore described how she launched the Dine Out for No Kid Hungry campaign. Denny’s became a partner in 2008 and to date has raised more than $1.4 million.
Many thanks to AARP, Denny’s, Herbalife, Wells Fargo, Feeding America, the Alliance to End Hunger, and all who participated in the 2014 NO MAS HAMBRE Summit. ¡Gracias!
Juan David Romero
Dalia Smith, Rep. Luján Grisham and Rita Jaramillo
Angela Arboleda, Roberto Melara, Pamela Philllips
and Roxana Barillas
Anthony Granado, Rebecca Middleton, Teresa Chapa
and Lisa Davis
Rep. Luján Grisham
Alex Garcia-Rivera and
Alfredo Estrada, Debbie Shore and April Kelly-Drummond
Hiram Lopez and Elia Quintana