People ask me all the time if I ever dreamed that Inter-Faith Food Shuttle would grow the way it has over the last 26 years, after all, they think, “This started from your home, from your dining room table, and you surely did not plan THIS!” They are always sure that I will say “Wow, no, of course not”. I never say that, because that is a lie.
The truth is this- I am more excited right now than I have ever been! Now, after all of these years, we are finally approaching what I have always believed possible- a North Carolina without hunger. Yes, even now when the problem of hunger is at its most severe since the Great Depression, we really can do this! From the earliest years when we co-hosted the NC Food Recovery Summits and the NC Hunger Summits with our friends from NC Department of Agriculture and Society of St. Andrews, I dreamed of a movement that would create the political and social will to end hunger here in this State that I love. I know that the Food Shuttle’s non-traditional solutions are a critical piece of it, but we cannot do it alone. We MUST act in partnership with other public and private entities across the State.
Last year that dream was truly seeded when WRAL-TV and Radio One stations created the HungerFreeNC MEDIAthon. It showcased the non-traditional solutions IFFS has created that are designed to end hunger by Feeding, Teaching, and Growing. If you are reading this, you know our programs. But you also know we can’t do it alone.
This year’s HungerFreeNC MEDIAthon on July 16 is featuring some of our sister organizations who are as involved in creating innovative solutions to end hunger across the region as we are: Conetoe Family Life Center, Transplanting Traditions, Hawkeye Indian Culture Center, Farmer Foodshare, and Action Pathways.
Together with our media partners:
- We are building the coalition that I have always dreamed possible
- We are raising awareness
- We are defining the problem
- We are demonstrating solutions
- We are inviting YOU to become more involved in this movement
The discussion that started in 1989 is growing into a true movement with the MEDIAthon, providing a change-making opportunity where individuals can engage in the issues surrounding hunger and hear ways to get involved in solutions. Education and engagement are primary tools needed to end hunger. Everyone in the State must understand what the depth of the problem is, we must understand why the problem exists and we MUST WORK TOGETHER to create the solutions.
Imagine what North Carolina could be if every child had enough nutritious food to eat. What if every senior citizen living on fixed, limited incomes had access to fresh nutritious foods that would improve their health and ability to live independently? What if we cured every food desert? What if we started gaining NC family farms instead of losing them? What if? What if? What if we had a true rich and vibrant North Carolina food system, where every North Carolinian had enough nutritious food for a healthy and active life? Our children’s development would improve - physical, mental and social - as well as having the energy and focus needed to learn. That would really change the future of this State!
We can change the future of North Carolina by working together. This year’s expanded HungerFreeNC MEDIAthon is the logical next step. Can you tell I am excited?!
Building a food secure community together, Jill Staton Bullard CEO & Co-Founder
EDITOR’S NOTE: We invite you to watch and listen on July 16 as WRAL and Radio One broadcast day-long coverage of the 2015 HungerFreeNC MEDIAthon! Learn more at HungerFreeNC.org and join the conversation using #HungerFreeNC on social media.