“One in five children in this country don’t know where their next meal is coming from. I was one of those kids,” says Davis. When the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) approached Davis to be the ambassador for the program, she was honored. “It has been the joy of my life to know that we can eradicate childhood hunger and that all of these kids, who were just like me, can go about the business of being who they are and have a chance at the American dream.”

FIXING THE PLATE: Davis is proactively raising money nationwide to fight childhood hunger and improve nutrition, while informing the U.S. public that childhood hunger is an urgent, present issue. Photo: Nigel Parry

The same plate

“There is no reason why kids should have to go through what I went through,” she says. “I know that telling my story will continue to heighten our awareness surrounding this problem and we will keep fighting to end childhood hunger in this country.”

The funds raised through Hunger Is, a joint charitable program of the Albertsons Companies Foundation and EIF, directly benefit local programs focused on combating childhood hunger and improving health-related outcomes. Over the last three years, the program has raised “over $12.5 million, providing over 230 grants nationwide,” according to Davis. “The difference we’ve been able to make on a local level has been unbelievable. Being able to see the change that we’re making, and will continue to make, is an indescribable feeling and certainly our biggest accomplishment.”

“There are 15 million hungry kids in this country who are not sure where their next meal will come from.”

Setting the table

But when it comes to public perception of the huge issue of hunger, and especially childhood hunger, Davis recognizes the vast contradiction. “The biggest misconception is people think that our country doesn’t have a problem with childhood hunger,” she says. “There are 15 million hungry kids in this country who are not sure where their next meal will come from. Of the 22 million children who rely on free or reduced-price lunches on an average day, 10 million don't receive the free or reduced school breakfast they are also eligible for.” Davis pushes the message that this crisis is a public problem, and “we need to come together to make permanent change.”

One way to help childhood hunger, Davis says, is to simply donate.  “The upcoming campaign, Hungry for More focuses on the importance of all children having access to daily breakfast.” The targeted program provides opportunities for the public to donate at Albertsons Stores for the month of September. “I encourage everyone to lend a voice to this cause,” says Davis, “And help us make a true difference.” You can find out more about Viola Davis’ efforts by logging onto the Hunger Is website.