Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Guest Blogger: Alfredo Estrada “Join us at the NO MAS HAMBRE Summit in Washington DC!”

Each year, Americans celebrate that peculiar holiday known as Thanksgiving. We gather with our families at tables groaning with roast turkeys, stuffing and cranberry sauce and give thanks for the privilege.

Yet last year nearly 50 million Americans had nothing to celebrate, and went hungry. And for Latinos the figures are even grimmer. About 26.2% of Latino households faced hunger, almost twice as much as other Americans. Yet for many of us, this overwhelming health disparity remains a dark secret. Few issues impact us and our families so directly, so viscerally. It’s literally a matter of life and death. But hunger in the Latino community is rarely discussed.

Why is this? There are no easy answers. We are a proud people, and the thought that we can not feed our young children and aging parents, much less ourselves, is deeply shameful. Even if we must go hungry, some of us prefer to ignore it than seek help. There are stigmas attached to accepting charity from strangers. Even if there weren’t, many recent immigrants would think twice about entering a government-supported Food Bank for fear of being deported. Barely half of Latinos who are eligible for food stamps (known as SNAP) actually receive assistance.

But there is another reason. Many Latinos simply don’t know the facts. Clearly, Latino media has not done enough to inform our community that almost one in three of us go hungry. And no one in America need go hungry. There are government funded programs such as SNAP, a vast network of Food Banks and Soup Kitchens around the country, and an army of volunteers working to end food insecurity. Yet if Latinos don’t know, they can’t help themselves. As for those of us who do know, unless we get involved, we can’t help those less fortunate.

LATINO Magazine has addressed this lack of awareness and engagement through an initiative called NO MAS HAMBRE. Its objective is to raise awareness of hunger in our community through articles in LATINO Magazine, our website at NoMasHambre.com, and the 2012 NO MAS HAMBRE Summit taking place December 7 in Washington, DC. Our second annual event will bring together Latino community leaders, hunger relief experts, government officials, corporate executives, and ordinary people to develop a Latino anti-hunger agenda.

I invite you to join us at the NO MAS HAMBRE Summit. It will be held on Friday, December 7, 2012 at the Capital Hilton, 1001 16th St. NW in Washington, DC. The day begins with a registration breakfast at 8 AM. The conference starts at 9 AM with keynote remarks by Ambassador Tony Hall of the Alliance to End Hunger, and will continue with interactive panels and roundtable discussions throughout the day. There is a complimentary lunch at 12-1 PM. The Summit concludes with a Town Hall Meeting ending at 3:30 PM. All are welcome and there is no cost to attend. To register, please click here.

I hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at ajestrada@latinomagazine.com. ¡Gracias!

Alfredo Estrada is the publisher of LATINO Magazine.