Seven Hunger Relief Organizations Doing Good Social Media Stuff

By Ed Nicholson

One of our goals with this site is to be a positive force in helping bring the discussion of hunger online, creating awareness for the issue and those instrumental in the fight against hunger.
When we came to the issue nine years ago, we found a lively discussion already occurring among a passionate community of those involved in hunger relief.  
We believe there’s still enormous upside potential to bring that discussion online via social networking tools, and to expand the community of decidated hunger fighters well beyond where it is today.
Fortunately, there are some hunger relief communicators blazing the trail. They’re using the tools, and most importantly, they’re engaging in two-way conversations, not simply broadcasting their messages.   If you’re involved in the issue, these are people and groups you’ll probably want to follow, if you aren’t already.

Share Our Strength
Billy Shore, Founder and CEO of Share Our Strength, has always been a tremendous communicator.  Share Our Strength now has Jeff Wiedner doing an exemplary job of heading up online communications, using all of the  popular social networking tools, including a Twitter account   Facebook cause pages,   LinkedIna very nicely-done YouTube channel, and a Flickr account.   In addition to Jeff, who runs the organization’s Twitter account  Billy Shore, Eric Herboso, and Suzy Twohig also have Twitter accounts.

Feeding America
Feeding America has a very well-produced YouTube channel, a quickly-growing Twitter account and active Facebook  and MySpace  pages.  Feeding America’s existing large and active community, enhanced by strong corporate support ensures that pretty much any tool the organization adopts will rapidly gain an active following.

Capital Area Food Bank of Texas (Austin)
This organization was early to the game and remains a leader in their use of social media.  In addition to authoring for their blog, CEO, David Davenport; VP of Communications Kerri Qunell; Advocacy and Online Marketing Director, Lisa Goddard, and several others from the food bank engage regularly with stakeholders through a number of different channels, including Twitter and Facebook accounts.   YouTube, Facebook page, Flickr.   Definitely some best practices here.

Food Bank for New York City
A relatively new blog shows bright promise as the centerpiece of this leading food bank’s social media efforts (they’re showing true social media savvy by asking readers to help name their blog )  Additionally the food bank has a Facebook cause page, as well as a YouTube Channel and Twitter Account  Online Communications Manager Daniel Buckley does a good job of coordinating social media efforts and using the tools to engage.

North Texas Food Bank (Dallas)
Another great example of a Feeding America food bank using a variety of social networking tools, including a blog,  a Facebook page, a  MySpace page and a YouTube channel.   Mark Armstrong manages the food bank’s Twitter account.

Texas Food Bank Network
A coalition of Feeding America food banks in Texas, this organization runs an advocacy blog , as well as  a Twitter account . 

Community Cooperative Ministeries Incorporated
This Fort Myers, Florida agency is doing a great job of creating hyperlocal awareness, focused on challenges of hunger and poverty in their area. They have a Twitter account and are using new media tools, including  Pitch Engine’s social media news release service to create awareness of  their activities, as well as using vimeo to post online video. Their CEO, Sarah Owen (who guest-posted here last week), is also a Twitterer.  Take a look at their campaign designed to raise awareness of kids at risk of hunger over the weekends.

No doubt there are many other great social media efforts occuring among hunger organizations around the country. Let me know what’s going on in your community, and we’ll feature it here.  The goal is to connect.

People Report People Fight Hunger in Texas

By Ed Nicholson





It’s always inspiring to see food industry pros engaged in the fight against hunger.  Joni and Wally Doolin had already been long-time supporters of Share Our Strength when we arrived on the scene in 2000 (and still are).  Joni’s the Founder and CEO of People Report, a group that takes a progressive approach to HR challenges and opportunities in the foodservice industry.  Recently, People Report gathered 65 high-level foodservice managers from around the country in a service day excercise at the North Texas Food Bank in Dallas.  You can’t overestimate the impact something like this has: engaging people in the fight against hunger who have influence and decision-making capacity in their own communities.  Here’s their report on the activities


Dallas, TX- Over 65 senior level executives from the 120 major restaurant companies that make up the People Report Consortium gathered in Dallas on November 12th, 2008 to lend a hand at the North Texas Food Bank. 

This day of service took place from 8:30am-12:00pm, the first time this many senior foodservice executives have banded together to lend a hand for a day.  In a time when economic pressures continue to strangle the restaurant industry, it is unprecedented for executives from competing, national companies to come together to serve the community together.

“People Report is proud that, with the help of our member consortium we can help make a significant impact in our community in a short amount of time.” shares Joni Doolin, Founder and CEO of People Report.  She adds, “This is new for our industry, having competitors serve together.  It gives us hope that amidst one of the toughest years we have faced as businesses, we can come together for the purpose of helping others.”

Hosted by Jim Knight, Senior Director of Training and Development for Hard Rock International, the 65 executives started the day by learning about “Philanthropy That Rocks” then were able to package over 16,000 meals at the North Texas Food Bank.

People Report thanks Ecosure, Kronos For Dining and Einstein Brothers Bagels for sponsoring the Service That Rocks Event.


Kudos to Joni, People Report, and all of the participating execs for applying their time and energy in this direction.