Viola Davis Fights Childhood Hunger In America

3-31-2014 3-11-01 PM

Two-time Academy Award nominee Viola Davis is in a fight against childhood hunger because she remembers digging through trash cans as a child in hopes of finding something to eat. According to a study from No Kid Hungry, one in five children in America suffers from food insecurity in their homes. A lack of nourishment not only affects children’s health, but also their ability to stay focused and do well academically.

“You wake up thinking about food, you go to sleep thinking about food,” Davis said. “We live in a country where you can have anything in your reach, and it’s emotionally shameful to live in a land of plenty with nothing to eat.” Her father, now deceased, worked as a horse groomer to provide for Davis and her five siblings. She recalls watching the “best man she knew” struggle to keep his family afloat, while school lunches were one of the only meals she could count on.

Davis gained her courage and motivation to pursue her dreams from educational programs like Upward Bound and people who went above and beyond to help her, so now she is taking a stand for the millions of children who don’t have a voice. Working with the Hunger Is campaign, funds raised through HungerIs.org will go through a grant process and be allocated for breakfast programs in schools across the country.

“There is no on-off switch for childhood hunger,” says President Jim Weill of the Food Research and Action Center, a non-profit working towards ending hunger in the U.S. “Combating this takes strong federal nutrition programs that reach more children, extending school lunch and school breakfast, and access to summer food for when kids are out of school.”

The campaign will kick off in Safeway grocery stores tomorrow, April 1.

Watch the PSA video below which features Viola Davis as she speaks up for the children in hunger: