Martin Luther King Jr. and the Battle to End Hunger

Alex Gurtis FCE

“Why should there be hunger and privation in any land, any city, at any table when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the necessities of life.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. 1964

As Americans kick off our yearly celebration of the life and achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. it is important to remember his effort to end hunger in America. King spoke and wrote extensively on the importance of ensuring everyone had access to three meals a day. He believed that ensuring this basic need was met was a vital component of achieving equality among all people.

King articulated this belief best when he received his Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. He said, “I have the audacity to believe that people everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education, and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality and freedom for their spirits.” Given that poverty and hunger have statistically been shown to adversely affect everything from performance in school to decreasing productivity at work it is unsurprising the this would be a necessary component of achieving equality among all people.

According to data collected in 2016, over 16 million men, and 20 million women live in poverty in the USA. It’s essential to understand poverty in America doesn’t mean mass starvation as much as it does malnutrition. People are putting food on the table, but without nutritional value they continue to suffer.

Encouragingly, research has shown that the world produces 17% more food per person than 30 years ago. As King himself put it, “There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we have the resources to get rid of it.” It is just a matter of getting the food to the people that need it. There are many organizations that are making significant progress towards achieving King’s dream. For instance, to date, Feeding Children Everywhere has packaged over 111 million meals, which were distributed across 54 countries thanks to the mobilization of over 689 thousand volunteers. These are not small numbers and they continue to grow exponentially as more people rise to the challenge of becoming a Hunger Hero.

Realizing King’s dream is an uphill battle, but the promised land is in sight. For those that want to make King’s dream a reality, volunteering with Feeding Children Everywhere is an effective way to make a difference. Ending hunger only happens when we work together. We can’t do it without your help! Go to and become a Hunger Hero today!