No Kid Hungry 2021 Annual Report

From the CEO

Dear Friends,

As eager as I am to share with you all the ways you helped Share Our Strength and our No Kid Hungry campaign feed children during this difficult year, it is also a bittersweet task. This will be my last time introducing our annual report to you, because I am retiring in June. 

While I leave behind my position here at Share Our Strength, I will remain a committed member of our community. What has inspired me in my time as CEO is very likely what has inspired you—a passion to make sure every child in America can count on getting healthy meals every day. It is this shared commitment that has driven us in fighting hunger through the worst health crisis in a century. I will always feel gratified to be part of a community that has helped millions of kids get the food they need and deserve. 

With your help, Share Our Strength is prepared to take on all the opportunities and challenges the next years bring. We have much work still to do to end child hunger in America, especially as our nation recovers from the pandemic. Rest assured that Share Our Strength is more committed than ever to our mission— and is always grateful for the tremendous generosity of our donors.

Tom Nelson, CEO

Where we've been and where we're going

Share Our Strength was founded with the knowledge that every one of us could make a difference in the lives of others. Ten years ago, empowered by a shared goal—to end child hunger in America—we launched the No Kid Hungry campaign to harness our strengths and change lives.

Our greatest asset in this work is the collective power of the community we’ve built together. In joining and supporting us, you are a part of a greater community of leaders—from anti-hunger activists to principals to cafeteria workers—committed to change and the innovative solutions needed to feed kids.




Responding to the tremendous hunger caused by the 1984 Ethiopian famine, Billy and Debbie Shore found Share Our Strength to mobilize a caring community and raise more than $365 million to feed families at home and abroad.



The No Kid Hungry campaign launches with the goal of ending childhood hunger in the United States. Working with schools, elected officials and community leaders, No Kid Hungry breaks down barriers that prevent kids from accessing school meals and community-led summer and afterschool meals programs.



No Kid Hungry responds to the coronavirus pandemic —raising and deploying over $100 million in grants for schools and communities to use in feeding children and families as well as launching new programs and policies to provide families with resources to feed their kids. With our commitment to reaching all children, we launched initiatives focused on helping those disproportionately impacted by hunger and poverty: children under the age of six, rural communities, and communities of color.

Our Path Forward

Our priority remains ending child hunger in the U.S. by ensuring all kids have access to three healthy meals a day, 365 days a year. While school and community meals remain the cornerstone of our work, the pandemic has shown us that we need to expand our efforts so that families and children have a bench of resources and programs to turn to. From meals at school, to increased SNAP benefits, to ensuring babies have the nutritional start they need, we’re rapidly expanding efforts to address and combat the root causes of poverty and hunger.

IN UNDER A DECADE, No Kid Hungry helped ensure 3 million more children were eating breakfast each day at school. We helped secure child nutrition program waivers that allowed millions of kids to get healthy meals wherever they were learning.

We were instrumental in establishing and implementing Pandemic EBT, a public benefit that replaced the cost of lost school meals during the pandemic, and worked to ensure a temporary 15% SNAP benefit increase and a permanent 22% increase through timely adjustments to the Thrifty Food Plan, the basis for calculating benefits according to today’s family food needs, customs, and costs. We also provided training resources to tens of thousands of school nutrition staff, community non-profits, and government officials to help them adopt effective and innovative ways to feed kids.

Our Progress Together

Supporting Communities and Feeding Kids.

Prior to the onset of the pandemic, childhood hunger was at its lowest level in 50 years. Since 2020, we have shifted our strategies to address the many factors that contribute to child hunger—so we can once again return to steadily reducing it. Here’s how your investment is being put to work.

We’re strengthening school & community meals programs:

10,000 subscribers to our No Kid Hungry Center for Best Practices received updates on innovative practices for their meal programs, heard from their peers through bi-monthly webinars, and downloaded new research, templates, and guides to support their efforts in providing meals to children in their communities.

More than 70% funding supported communities of color. (where demographics are known).

1,500 + grants to school districts and community programs to provide the equipment and resources to feed kids this year.

We’re helping families pay for the food they need:

We supported polices expanding nutrition access to kids and families across 7 states.

The families of over 35 million kids received emergency funds to replace missed school meals during the pandemic through the federal P-EBT program, with $15 billion provided to families as of April 2021.

Launch of our early childhood initiative with an inaugural granting program to 126 organizations, such as pediatricians’ offices and childcare centers across the country.

We’re building a national movement to spark change:

Launched our Food Justice Series in partnership with Food & Society at the Aspen Institute, providing invaluable insights to over 4,000 participants on the complex intersecting factors that affect the ability of parents to feed their families.

Engaged and grew our network of champions from the culinary, corporate, celebrity, political communities—and passionate donors like you.

We're not just delivering a meal; we're delivering friendship. We're delivering comfort. We're delivering security. We're ensuring that kids grow into healthy and wise young men and women.

Eric GosleeFood and Nutrition Service Director Wicomico County Public Schools, Maryland

A Community of Change-Makers

Read some of the stories of our work by clicking the buttons below

This is the motto of Detroit Public Schools Community District. The school system has 50,000 students and for nearly all of them, free or reduced cost school meals are an essential part of their days.

When the pandemic hit, the Detroit schools kept all their buildings open so any child could walk up to a neighborhood school and get a free meal. Even so, they knew they needed to reach more kids, especially the 3,000 medically fragile students who would be left hungry if they didn’t find another way to get meals to them. So they enlisted school bus drivers to deliver the meals door to door. They mapped out 80 new bus routes and were able to distribute more than 150,000 meals to children within steps of their front doors.

Today, students in the district are able to get meals back in their school buildings. Thanks to continued support from No Kid Hungry, Detroit Public Schools was able to purchase updated equipment that is helping them give all students the chance to rise.

Watch our mini-documentary on Detroit Schools here.

The pandemic changed how we did things, but it didn’t change what we did. And what we do is feed children.

Carl WilliamsExecutive Director for the Office of School Nutrition, Detroit Public Schools Community District, Detroit, Michigan

Kern County in the Central Valley of California is one of the most productive breadbaskets of the world. They grow and export grapes, almonds, fruits, potatoes and other crops that feed millions of people. “We’re surrounded by food every day,” explained Jasmin LoBasso from the Kern County Public Library. “However, our community isn’t necessarily thriving.”

To make sure children in their community didn’t go hungry during summer, the Kern County Library has been providing free meals for kids when school closes since 2014. To stem the tremendous need during the pandemic, they also began serving weekend meals at grab-and-go sites and afterschool meals during the school year, feeding children all year long.

This past year, we invited Kern County Library to join No Kid Hungry’s Promising Practices to End Rural Child Hunger cohort, a new initiative that is funding nine organizations and bringing them together to share their innovative strategies to feed kids in rural communities. These organizations serve as peer trainers, helping one another adapt these approaches so they’ll work elsewhere. We’ll be sharing their experiences, learnings, and advice through case studies and webinars to help other rural communities.

The Kern County Library already has much to share about the success of their year-round programs. With your support, No Kid Hungry grant funding helped launch their direct mail campaign to promote their meal program, expand their afterschool enrichment programs, and purchase equipment like coolers and fridges to better store meals for kids. “Prior to 2021, libraries were not necessarily receiving funding beyond summer to provide food services,” said LoBasso about their grant, “It gave us the push that we needed to move forward and try.”

Nutrition is one of the most basic building-blocks of our health. For some of us, however, making nutritious choices isn’t about swapping a bag of chips for a bag of carrots, it’s about how long can the car payment wait so that there are enough groceries to last through the month. Millions of children under the age of six live in households facing food insecurity and are especially vulnerable to the potential long-term health outcomes that can result.

Dr. Mona Hanna-Atisha, Director at the MSU-Hurley Pediatric Public Health Initiative in Flint Michigan, understands the importance of nutrition as a ‘forever medicine,’ preventing future health concerns, especially for kids harmed by lead poisoning during the Flint water crisis. With funding support from No Kid Hungry, Dr. Hanna-Atisha was able to expand their clinic-based food programs including a program that delivers produce boxes to families with children under six.

This funding was part of No Kid Hungry’s early childhood initiative, funded by donors like you and launched in 2021, which distributed $3 million in grants to more than 120 organizations including healthcare clinics and early childcare centers in 34 states and the District of Columbia. Because early childhood is the most intensive period of brain and body development, we are prioritizing reaching our nation’s youngest children with the nutrition they need. We partner with community sites, operate a national food skills education program, and advocate for improvements to child nutrition programs.

For Ericka Huggins – human rights activist, educator, Black Panther leader, and former political prisoner – the power of the people is a catalyst for change in our society. The importance of engaging, listening, and partnering with individuals in the community was always core to the Panther Party’s efforts. It was the power of the people that drove the Black Panther Party to start their free breakfast program in the 1960s – a forerunner and inspiration of today’s National School Breakfast Program. It is the power of the people and the need to unpack how that power can be fostered, as well as stamped out, that inspired the launch of Conversations on Food Justice, a collaboration between Share Our Strength and the Aspen Institute’s Food and Society Program

In this conversation series, we set out to explore the ways the food justice movement has evolved over time, the ways that food intersects race and class, as well as issues like health, education, labor, and the environment. Our ultimate goal for the series is to elevate important issues and to educate, challenge assumptions, and hopefully inspire action.

Each session brings together diverse and important voices to unpack the consequences of unequal food access and discuss how the food justice movement can be a catalyst for equity. Since the series launched, we have brought together a diverse collection of thousands of panelists and attendees that have included philanthropists, nonprofit and community leaders, academics, policy makers, corporate and foundation leaders, and a powerful cross section of organizational stakeholders. 

Thanks to our Corporate Partners


Citi took our relationship to the next level throughout the pandemic in helping to feed kids and families, by contributing more than $7.5 million to No Kid Hungry in Fiscal Year 2021. This is in addition to the $20M + they have provided since the beginning of our partnership in 2014. They engaged their cardmembers in various ways including through an “End of Year Spend” campaign and the continuation of their Citi Community Home Runs program with the New York Mets.

Arby’s Foundation

To celebrate ten years of partnership, the Arby’s Foundation engaged their social media followers with hunger stats and partnership highlights from the last decade. Over the last ten years, the Arby’s Foundation has donated nearly $28 million to help end childhood hunger in the United States.


Through its dedicated TURN UP! FIGHT HUNGER program, Discovery and its brands, including Food Network, HGTV and TLC, inspired audiences to support No Kid Hungry by highlighting our work during top shows - including Brother vs. Brother, A Very Brady Renovation and Rock the Block - and driving critical holiday donations from consumers through a text-to-donate campaign. The funds raised and actions taken realized Discovery’s goal of helping to support No Kid Hungry and our community partners in providing one billion meals to kids facing hunger in the U.S.

Walmart Foundation

A funder for over a decade, the Walmart Foundation has provided funding to support programs that connect kids to meals – especially in underserved and rural communities. The Walmart Foundation supported a collaboration with FoodFinder to help connect families to resources and programs in their community and worked with Socially Determined to further develop our strategies in underserved communities.


Fiscal Year 2021
(July 1 2020–June 30 2021)

From developing programs to feed more kids to building the political will for lasting change to raising the funds needed to make it all happen we’re ending childhood hunger together.


There is no single solution to ending childhood hunger in America. We must cast a wider net in our approach, be more intentional in the ways we work alongside and learn from communities most affected by hunger, and remain committed to our cause, not a singular path of getting there.

This will take all of us, however, especially as families, schools, and communities dig out from under the lingering effects of the pandemic. Our nation has the food and the will to end child hunger, and by sharing all our strengths, we can realize a future where no child goes hungry.

Our work is not done. We have listened to communities most affected by hunger and poverty, been inspired by their commitment and creativity to feed all kids the meals they need, and are working to understand and overcome the social, racial, and environmental factors that keep children hungry.

We will use the important lessons we’ve learned – especially over the past several years – to break down the barriers holding kids back from the food they need to thrive. Because they are our future.

We thank you for joining us in making the most basic, most valuable investment in them—three meals a day.