Arts, Culture, and Humanities

WhyHunger Inc.

aka World Hunger Year

New York, NY


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.

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


Executive Director

Noreen Springstead

Main Address

505 Eighth Ave Suite 2100

New York, NY 10018 USA


hunger, poverty, health, nutrition, sustainable agriculture, food sovereignty, grassroots support, children's programs, advocacy, Hungerthon, community empowerment, food security





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Music (A68)

IRS Filing Requirement

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

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016.
Register now

Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

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

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Grassroots Action Network

Global Movements

Nourish Network for the Right to Food

Artists Against Hunger and Poverty

WhyHunger Hotline & Find Food Database

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

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

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

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 42-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 has four main program areas. The success of each program is evaluated differently using both quantitative and qualitative indicators.

For our Global Movements program, we track the grants we make to partner organizations and the impact those funds and activities have on their communities now and in the coming years. Our grants are made in the context of deep relationships, not transactional exchanges of money and reports, and so our support and impact in communities across the globe is ongoing and evolving to meet new needs, opportunities and challenges.

For the WhyHunger Hotline & Find Food Database, we track the number of calls, texts and online searches; the number of individuals and families connected to food via this service; the number of food providers in the database; the number of summer meals sites for children in the database; the number of food providers that offer healthy food, job training, advocacy and other support services. We use this information, as well as cataloged stories from callers, to get a better understanding of the landscape of hunger across America and examine needs and trends.

For our Nourish Network and Grassroots Action Network programs, we measure our impact through the growth of our partner relationships, the size of our networks and alliances, and the kind of collective action we take each year to shift the policies and practices that contribute to hunger. We also look at the number of our partners that are transforming their communities through innovative, root-cause solutions like urban farms, workforce development, veggie prescription programs, collective food cooperatives, and much more.

For our Artists Against Hunger & Poverty Program, we track the number of artists engaged in the program, their level of engagement through touring, social media support, auction items, press and media interviews, and more. We also track the amount of funds we're able to leverage for our grassroots partners through artist relationships and support.

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
- 68 COUNTRIES: Focusing $1.2 million to support and train 103,999 farmers through agroecological food production in 68 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.

External Reviews


WhyHunger Inc.

Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to view a Sample Report.


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

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2016
A Pro report is also available for this organization for $125.
Click here to see what's included.

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


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?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?


Organizational Demographics

In order to support nonprofits and gain valuable insight for the sector, GuideStar worked with D5—a five-year initiative to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in philanthropy—in creating a questionnaire. This section is a voluntary questionnaire that empowers organizations to share information on the demographics of who works in and leads organizations. To protect the identity of individuals, we do not display sexual orientation or disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff. Any values displayed in this section are percentages of the total number of individuals in each category (e.g. 20% of all Board members for X organization are female).

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Race & Ethnicity

Sexual Orientation

This organization reports that it does not collect this information.


This organization reports that it does not collect this information.

Diversity Strategies

We track retention of staff, board, and volunteers across demographic categories
We track income levels of staff, senior staff, and board across demographic categories
We track the age of staff, senior staff, and board
We track the diversity of vendors (e.g., consultants, professional service firms)
We have a diversity committee in place
We have a diversity manager in place
We have a diversity plan
We use other methods to support diversity
Diversity notes from the nonprofit
Staff has an ongoing weekly racial equity discussion and a monthly white allies gathering. Each year, staff members attend racial equity trainings and conferences like Race Forward and Allied Media. Beginning in 2017, all departments were required to consider and incorporate racial equity into operational plans. The Board is currently undergoing a process of evaluation around regular anti-racism and anti-oppression training for all members.