WhyHunger Inc.

aka World Hunger Year   |   New York, NY   |  www.whyhunger.org


WhyHunger believes a world without hunger is possible. We provide critical resources to support grassroots movements and fuel community solutions rooted in social, environmental, racial and economic justice. We are working to end hunger and advance the human right to nutritious food in the U.S. and around the world.

Notes from the nonprofit

In 2015, WhyHunger changed our fiscal year from 4/1-3/31 to a calendar year. This is reflected in our 2015 audited financials.

Ruling year info


Executive Director

Noreen Springstead

Main address

505 Eighth Ave Suite 2100

New York, NY 10018 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

World Hunger Year



NTEE code info

Music (A68)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Hunger persists in our world because people cannot afford to buy food or because they are denied access to the land, water and other resources they need to produce their own food. Hunger is not just a food issue, it's a complex economic, social and environmental issue. We will not see significant improvements in the hunger statistics in the U.S. and around the globe until we dismantle the broader policies that perpetuate hunger and start investing in the many communities that are working at the intersection of those sectors to nourish people and change their local food systems. While government nutrition programs and emergency food distribution remain essential to keeping families, veterans, seniors, working adults and children nourished and healthy, it is time to embrace a long-term vision for local and global community food security. Charity alone will not end chronic food insecurity; addressing the broader social problems and policies perpetuating hunger and poverty will.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Grassroots Action Network

The Grassroots Action Network works in partnership with community-based leaders, organizations and networks to build a movement for a just and equitable food system in the U.S. By supporting and promoting grassroots leadership, WhyHunger works to build capacity for community organizing and to accelerate the collective impact of community - based strategies for food justice.

Population(s) Served

The Global Movements Program supports and partners with social movements and networks to build international solidarity and advance the goals of food sovereignty and the basic rights to food, land, water and sustainable livelihoods for all people.

Population(s) Served

The Nourish Network for the Right to Food works with emergency food providers, food access organizations, community health organizations and other grassroots and national allies to transform the charitable response to hunger in the U.S. into a more equitable and inclusive social justice movement that recognizes nutritious food as a human right.

Population(s) Served

Artists Against Hunger & Poverty offers artists, the artist community and the music industry the opportunity to use their voices to support the movement to end hunger and poverty. Over 13 million dollars has been raised to support innovative and effective community-based organizations fighting hunger and ensuring the right to nutritious food for all in communities all across the world.

Population(s) Served

The WhyHunger Hotline & Find Food Database connects hungry people across the U.S. to food pantries, soup kitchens, summer meals sites, government nutrition programs and model grassroots organizations via call, text and online search.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

WhyHunger is not just another organization with a mission statement tucked away on its website. We are on a mission. Together, we are building a world where everyone has the right to nutritious food.

Our work is focused around three strategic goals:

1. Movement Building – Build and strengthen grassroots-led movements for food justice and food sovereignty worldwide.

2. Social Justice – Work for social justice by addressing the root causes of hunger and the deep inequities of poverty at the intersection of economic inequality, racism, health and the environment.

3. Human Rights – Work to protect and advance the right to nutritious food for all.

Specifically, WhyHunger's core strategies center around our function as a grassroots support organization. WhyHunger's strategies are to:

- Mobilize, coalesce and build the capacity of organizations, communities, and funders invested in food justice and food sovereignty around the nation and in the Global South.
- Support grassroots leaders to invest directly in their local communities and to participate in building a movement for food justice and food sovereignty.
- Support and strengthen international solidarity between social movements in the U.S. and the Global South.
- Strengthen the capacity of social movements in the Global South to support communities in developing agroecological practices, educating and organizing with each other, and advocating for themselves.
- Support emergency food providers to improve their capacity to source, prepare and distribute healthy and nutritious food to their clients, improving health outcomes.
- Shift the role of food access organizations in the United States to advocate for the right to food and to address the root causes of hunger.
- Leverage and mobilize the resources of artists, funders, and other NGOs in direct support of and in solidarity with our partners.
- Work at the intersection of racial justice, public health, environmental and climate justice, and economic justice.

WhyHunger has a 45-year track record of working alongside, supporting, listening and responding to the grassroots leaders and communities whose lived experience demands they work for change in the systems, policies and practices that undermine their rights to food, land, water and dignity. Our top priority is to let our strategies and methodologies evolve and be shaped by those most impacted by hunger, poverty and injustice.

Besides our partners, our staff is our biggest asset. We recruit and invest in staff that have backgrounds in community organizing, alliance building, movement building, public health, community development, international development, communications and fundraising. We strive to recruit a diverse staff of people from different backgrounds, races, faiths and experience.

Over four decades, WhyHunger has also built a loyal and generous following. Our donors and volunteers are key players in the fight against hunger and poverty. They contribute financial support and equally important, they contribute time and ideas to make us more effective in our mission.

WhyHunger's impact has been remarkable. Here's a taste of what we've accomplished in the last 5 years alone:

- $1.8 MILLION INVESTED: Fueling grassroots led-solutions with $1.8 million in funding to 355 organizations and social movements
- 30 COUNTRIES: Focusing $1.2 million to support and train 103,999 farmers through agroecological food production in 30 countries.
- 600 ALLIES: Building a powerful alliance of 600 U.S. emergency food providers working to transform the way we address hunger.
- 3 GLOBAL SOCIAL MOVEMENTS: Providing support to the World March of Women, La Via Campesina International and the World Forum of Fisher Peoples, including 210,013,000 people.
- 2.4 MILLION CHILDREN: Working with partners to connect over 2.4 million kids to free, healthy meals in the summer when childhood hunger spikes.
- 1.4 MILLION HUNGRY: Connecting 1.4 million hungry Americans directly to local nutritious food via our hotline, online search and texting service.
- 170 PUBLICATIONS AND STORIES: Amplifying the voices of grassroots innovators and social movement leaders through 170 publications and multimedia stories.
- ARTISTS ACTIVATED: Mobilizing do artists and their fans to raise $769,000 to support lasting solutions to hunger and help build the movement for food justice.

We have firsthand how communities are fed and the earth is healed when entrusted to our partners – women, youth, peasant farmers – in the U.S., Kenya, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Mali, Lesotho, Guatemala, Panama, Honduras, Mexico, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, and many more places across our world.

At the heart of our global work is agroecological farming, which produces healthy food in harmony with the earth and mitigates the detrimental effects of climate change. Small farmers, indigenous people, and peasants are tilling the soil, conserving water, reclaiming their land, ensuring biodiversity, and protecting against drought via these ecological farming methods. We are working with global alliances to support millions of farmers in switching to these alternative, sustainable methods that put people and planet first and produces healthy food for the most vulnerable people.

In the United States, we are also working with a coalition of 600+ frontline organizations like food banks, pantries, and kitchens to move beyond food as the primary solution to hunger and to work at the root causes around economic inequality, racism, and health inequities so that all people have the right to nutritious food. Our WhyHunger Hotline & Find Food Database help hundreds of thousands of hungry individuals in need each year.

WhyHunger is on the cutting edge of a movement that is building the power and momentum to address policies and practices that trap people in cycles of hunger and poverty and that are destroying our planet. We believe that hunger is a solvable problem. We hope you'll join us.


WhyHunger Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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WhyHunger Inc.

Board of directors
as of 3/30/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Seth Saltzman

Senior Vice President, ASCAP

Term: 2016 -

David Miller

City Winery

Janet Poppendieck

Hunter College

Paul Kurland

Cohen, Rabin, Stine, Schumann, LLP

Tom Chapin

Sundance Music, Inc.

Jen Chapin


Loretta Munoz


Alan Handell

NY Prints LLC

Stephen Beninati

RBC Wealth Management

Judy Tint

Lawyer in Private Practice

Karen Washington

La Familia Verde Garden

Ken Lesnik

Spectra Ticketing & Fan Engagement

Joe D'Urso

Leftfield Productions; Caravan Management, Inc., CBGB; Rockland Bergen Music Festival

Bob Wolk

Sage Educational Enterprises

Caren Berlin

Gold N Fish Marketing Group

Andrew Bauer

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP

Rob Barnett

Rob Barnett Media

Harvey Nagler

Former CBS News

Scott Haugenes


Susan Miller

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No