Description & History

Founded in 1975, WhyHunger is a leader in the fight against hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world.

WhyHunger is convinced that solutions to hunger and poverty can be found at the grassroots level. WhyHunger advances long-term solutions to hunger and poverty by supporting community-based, organizations that empower individuals and build self reliance, i.e., offering job training, education and after school programs; increasing access to housing and healthcare; providing microcredit and entrepreneurial opportunities; teaching people to grow their own food; and assisting small farmers. WhyHunger connects these organizations to funders, media, and legislators.

At WhyHunger, we envision a world without hunger and poverty. If we can shift the prevailing viewpoint on why hunger and poverty exist, then we can influence policymakers and put an end to this human tragedy.

WhyHunger(formally known as World Hunger Year) was founded in 1975 by its present Executive Director and radio personality Bill Ayres and the late singer/songwriter Harry Chapin. Since its inception, WHY has made a difference; initiating 24-hour Hungerthons launched in 1975 in six cities on Thanksgiving Weekend, reaching 10 million people nationwide.

Hungerthon, held annually for 29 years in partnership with the Infinity Radio System has highlighted some 750 grassroots organizations and raised more than $6 million dollars for hunger and poverty relief.

Today, Hungerthon is supported by NYC-tri-state radio stations including 880 WCBS-AM; 660 AM WFAN; 1010 WINS AM; 92.3FM NOW, Fresh 102.7, AOL Radio Q104.3FM, 95.5FM WPLJ, ABC Talk Radio, 101.9 WRXP, 98.7 KISS FM, Hot 97 FM, MIX 97.7 FM, Gator 107.9 FM, Rock 107 FM, Sirius Satellite Radio, 104.9 BOB FM, and

This year's Hungerthon intends to spotlight at least 21 local community-based groups and projects and 3-5 International organizations and projects as well.

About the organization


Sue Leventhal
Events Director
(212) 629-3224