Join us at the NO MAS HAMBRE Summit in Washington, DC!

By Alfredo Estrada on 05/06/2011 @ 12:00 PM

Tags: no mas hambre, Alfredo Estrada

Join us at the NO MAS HAMBRE Summit in Washington DC!

By Alfredo Estrada, Publisher, LATINO Magazine

Although nearly 50 million Americans went hungry last year, for Latinos, the figures are even grimmer. About 29.4% of Latinos faced hunger, almost twice as much as other Americans. Yet for many of us, this overwhelming health disparity remains a dark secret when, in fact, 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 cannot 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. 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. In California and Texas, where two thirds of Latinos live, there is a fingerprint requirement to applying for food stamps, known as SNAP. As can be imagined, barely half of Latinos who are eligible for 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 even those who are informed often don't know the range of assistance which is available in this country. No one 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 hunger. Yet, if Latinos don't know about it, we can't help ourselves.

LATINO Magazine proposes to address this lack of awareness through an initiative called NO MAS HAMBRE. Its objective is to raise public awareness of hunger in our community through articles in LATINO Magazine, our website at NoMasHambre.com, and during our No MAS HAMBRE Summit taking place this month in Washington, DC. This first-of-its-kind event will bring together Latino community leaders, hunger relief experts, government officials, corporate executives, and the community to develop a Latino-centric anti-hunger agenda. Among the speakers is Brent Wilkes, Executive Director of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

I invite you to join us at the NO MAS HAMBRE Summit. It will be held on Tuesday May 17, 2011 at the Omni Shoreham Hotel, 2500 Calvert 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 Vicki Escarra, President of Feeding America, and will continue with interactive panels and roundtable discussions with experts in the field. There is a complimentary lunch at 12-1 PM. The Summit concludes with a Town Hall meeting ending at 4 PM. There is no cost to attend and there will be free parking at the hotel. To register, please go to www.latinomagazine.com/nmhregistration.htm .

I hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me at info.nomashambre@gmail.com. ¡Gracias!

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