29 October, 2009

We're Hiring!

Note: This article was originally published on Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry website.

Throughout the recent recession, times have been tough all-around. Food banks have seen shortages even while demand for food assistance has risen substantially. Non-profits of all stripes have seen a decline in donations, and volunteers have been harder to come by.
But though these scary statistics hold true for many nonprofits, Share Our Strength has been able to rise above it all. Our fiscal outlook is rising with every forecast, and the funds we allocate to on-the-ground programs have been increasing, not decreasing. This is due to Share Our Strength’s unique experiences with cause marketing (earning us the 2009 Golden Halo Award Winner as Cause Marketer of the Year) and a deep relationship with its many volunteers and corporate sponsorships across the nation.
In fact, throughout this entire recession, Share Our Strength has continuously had a careers page up, because we’re actively looking for more talent to join our team.
Our Jobs page has a list of many positions that we need to fill in order to effectively focus on our efforts to end childhood hunger. I hesitate to list the positions we need in this blog entry, since available positions will of course differ over time, but in general, we always have a wide variety of positions that we need filled by people of various abilities. From Americorps volunteers to on-site local directors, design and web interns to managers in each of our program tracks, there is always something available for job-seekers to look through.
So if you’re looking for a new position and want to make a sincere difference with your day job, then please check out our careers section. You may just find exactly what you’re looking for.

26 October, 2009

Childhood Hunger Facts

Note: This article was originally published on Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry website.

The Share Our Strength website is viewed by many different people for many different reasons. Some come because they see one of our Taste of the Nation events or happen across a Great American Bake Sale. Others come because they see us on Food Network or hear us mentioned on the radio. Most come to learn more about childhood hunger in America and what can be done to help alleviate the problem.
But there are a few who come for a much more exacting reason: Research.
Share Our Strength is the leading anti-childhood hunger organization in America. And while much of what we do aims at eliminating the problem, one part of this active approach requires us to be data-gatherers, so that we can effectively gauge the situation and find numbers that we can look to to see our progress.
But these facts are not just here for us alone; we ensure all of this information is made available to the public, for whatever use is needed. Whether you’re a student doing a report on child hunger or an activist preparing data to show to your congressman, you will find Share Our Strength’s Facts on Childhood Hunger page to be quite useful.
Once there, you can learn more about talking points on why childhood hunger is important; what food insecurity is, and why this term is used in reports rather than “hunger”; facts on poverty and food assistance programs & resources; and links to other sites that may help if you need additional research.
As always, our Hunger Facts section is always expanding, and is always kept as up to date as possible. For example, soon we will also have data put up on our Teacher Report, which highlights research Share Our Strength has done looking into hunger In America’s classrooms.
If you’ve never used our data before, then I welcome you to try grabbing a few stats to use in a blog entry or in your newest Facebook status update. It never hurts to have raw data on your side whenever you bring up the issue of childhood hunger in your daily life. With your help, we can make childhood hunger in America just a little less invisible, one tweet at a time.

20 October, 2009

Keeping Up With Share Our Strength

Note: This article was originally published on Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry website.

If you're like me, then when you're into a nonprofit as dedicated as Share Our Strength, you just can't get enough content on it to satiate your thirst. But that's why we've made it as easy as possible for you to keep up to date with Share Our Strength in as many ways as you'd like.
The strength.org homepage is always the best place to go when you want to know what's up with Share Our Strength today. Not only do we have Hunger News stories, recent blog entries, and highlights up that let everyone know what's going on, we also have many other items that are updated on a regular basis for all to see. If you've only been checking out our homepage occasionally, then you may want to start stopping by a little more often. You never know what you might find there.
By far the easiest way to keep up with what's going on is by signing up for our monthly newsletter. Not only will you get monthly emails on Share Our Strength's efforts to end childhood hunger, but you can also opt in to receive reminders when Share Our Strength holds events in your area.

This blog is another great avenue for seeing new content. But rather than heading over tostrength.org/blog every time you want to see what's new, why not try subscribing to our No Kid Hungry Blog RSS feed? All you need is an RSS reader such as google.com/reader, and you can have our blog content delivered to you evey day!
While you're at it, subscribe to our Childhood Hunger News RSS feed. We post news items from across the web about childhood hunger quite often. If you want to know what's current in the field of childhood hunger, then you should definitely see our Childhood Hunger In The News section.
If you're up on social media, then you may also want to subscribe to our Twitter feed. Following the@ShareStrength account is a great way to have conversation directly with Jeff and myself on the Share Our Strength web team. You can also follow @Dine_Out for Great American Dine Out updates,@ofl_mass for Operation Frontline updates in the field from Boston, MA, and a number of our Taste of the Nation cities have twitter accounts as well; check out whichever is closest to you:
Becoming our fan on Facebook is also a great way to keep updated. Many items are just too small to warrant a new blog post, but a quick Facebook update will let everyone know what's going on regardless. And don't forget to join the Share Our Strength cause on facebook, nor our two program pages: Taste of the Nation and Operation Frontline.
If you really want a view behind the scenes, then I highly suggest friending us on Flickr and YouTube. Sometimes we post new videos and photos that don't always get the spotlight they deserve, and by friending us there, you can see all the rich content that may not make it onto strength.org.
Of course, Share Our Strength maintains a presence in many other places as well, so if I haven't mentioned your favorite, don't worry: we aren't going away anytime soon. But if any of you have ideas on how Share Our Strength can keep you updated with even more content, please don't hesitate to share by leaving a comment below — we'd love to know what you think!

15 October, 2009

Hunger And Climate Change

Note: This article was originally published on Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry website.

Share Our Strength has already committed itself to ending childhood hunger in America by 2015. This goal is entirely reachable and we fully intend on fulfilling our promise.
Our founder, Billy Shore, explains our commitment succintly: “Pick a cause big enough to matter, yet small enough to accomplish.” Ending childhood hunger in America is one such cause, and it is the end toward which we all work for each and every day.
But of course hunger goes beyond America’s borders, and the logical next step after eradicating domestic hunger is to replicate our methods in other developed countries that are similarly afflicted. (This process-oriented approach is, after all, what we are known for with our state partnerships.) Yet even these next steps may not help the larger issue of hunger in under-developed nations.
The progress we as a culture have made in fighting hunger in developing nations is impressive so far, but one looming issue threatens to take away all that we’ve accomplished to date: global climate change.
The truth about how climate change will affect world hunger is staggering. According to a recent report by the International Food Policy Research Institute, “By 2050, the decline in calorie availability will increase child malnutrition by 20 percent relative to a world with no climate change. Climate change will eliminate much of the improvement in child malnourishment levels that would occur with no climate change.” [emphasis added]
But if you think that’s bad, then consider this: Calorie availability in 2050 will not only be lower than in the no–climate-change scenario—it will actually decline relative to 2000 levels throughout the developing world. Projections like this make it difficult to imagine a world without hunger in developing countries anytime soon. All the progress we’ve made so far can easily be wiped out due to climate change alone.
According to a recent issue brief by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization(PDF), due to the combination of a world population increase to 9 billion by 2050, more people eating meat and dairy products which are wasteful of crop resources, and an increase of farmland being used for biofuels, overall food production will need to increase by some 70 percent more than the 2005-07 output.
An increase like this would be utterly staggering. To cover this alone would cost over $7 billion annually, according to the IFPRI. But that’s nothing compared to the World Bank’s World Development Report 2010 figure of $75 billion needed annually to control the other myriad effects of climate change.
Of course, these projected costs are by no means definite. Though climate change is a definite reality, the magnitude of its effects are not easy to predict. The difference between a 2°C and a 5°C change in global temperature is nothing short of monumental. According to a recent report by Oxfam(PDF), it would take a huge amount of political will just to muster only a 2°C change, and even in that rosy scenario, over 660 million people could be forced into devastating conditions. And if we follow our present course, we can expect a 5°C temperature rise, which (the report says) means human population levels could be reduced to just one billion people by the end of the century.
These projections can give one pause. But we must find the will to continue doing what we can to help the problem. Hunger must be combated at every stage, on every side, by everyone. While it’s true that by 2015, nearly 200 million people may be forced to migrate due to lack of food, at least we can know that in America, every child will be surrounded by nutritious food wherever they live, learn, and play.
And from there, we will move on to the next problem. Because that’s what Share Our Strength does.

13 October, 2009

The Poetry Of Ending Hunger

Note: This article was originally published on Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry website.

hunger poetryChildhood hunger is a scourge whose evils are outspoken.
Hunger begets poor grades begets lives broken.
It is an invisible foe, whose full extent belies
its effect, its strength, and even its size.
Hunger tears away the foundation of society.
Its presence contradicts any appearance of propriety.
But there is a way we can fight this harm.
Share Our Strength is here to sound the alarm.
Through state partnerships and unbridled zeal,
Share Our Strength is able to combat and reveal
the invisibility of hunger, the methods to contain,
and the ways that we can truly sustain
a working solution that does all it can
to bring to fruition Share Our Strength’s plan
to end childhood hunger in America in two thousand fifteen.
Then, and only then, will lack of hunger finally be routine.