January 21, 2019

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day — a day that is dedicated to honoring an iconic leader whose radical vision and political expressions contributed to push America to live up to its promise of being a nation of opportunity and equality for all. Within the anti-hunger and anti-poverty world, King continues to be lauded today for his belief that eradicating hunger and poverty are essential to establishing a more just society. In his 1964 Nobel Lecture, Dr. King said this:

Why should there be hunger and privation in any land, in any city, at any table when man has the resources and scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life … There is no deficit in human resources; the deficit is in human will.

To celebrate the life and legacy of Dr. King, FRAC staff reflected on why they decided to pursue careers that embody Dr. King’s social justice philosophy that includes ending food insecurity and poverty. Below are some of their responses.

Hunger is solvable. It’s not a privilege to eat — it’s a basic human right. I think it is our duty as a society to make sure we do everything we can to protect this basic human right.” — Emily Pickren, Senior Communications Manager, FRAC

This is God’s work. When I serve humanity, my soul’s work is fulfilled. Poverty and hunger are unjust, deliberately created, and, far too often, conveniently ignored. I am compelled to do my part to ensure the basic need of food security is supplied for all members of our community.” — Brooke McCauley, Senior Manager of Anti-Hunger Programs, Maryland Hunger Solutions

People need jobs to feel useful and to provide for their material needs. People need homes, a place to lay their heads, and clothing. But people also need food, and they need it every day just in order to live! Before jobs, housing, and clothing, people need food!” — Michael J. Wilson, Director, Maryland Hunger Solutions

I work for FRAC to eradicate hunger and poverty because I am no different from the 40 million people living in food-insecure households. Poverty is solvable, so let’s solve it.” — Randy Rosso, Data Architect, FRAC

I was attracted to Maryland Hunger Solutions for its reputation and track record of creating change in the public policy and anti-hunger sectors. I knew that I wanted to help continue the momentum of the organization’s life-changing work and also use my education, training, and professional background in a capacity that would effect change and touch the lives of vulnerable populations.” — Penny Brooks, Anti-Hunger Program Assistant, Maryland Hunger Solutions

In the decades since MLK first shared his powerful insights on hunger, I’ve become convinced that he had it right — hunger is indeed a political condition. His words are a reminder that while we have a long way to go in order to achieve our goal of eradicating hunger, increasing food security is within reach, especially if we involve our government officials as key actors.” — Alex Ashbrook, Director of Special Projects and Initiatives, FRAC

To learn more about FRAC’s anti-hunger and anti-poverty efforts, visit FRAC.org.