On October 30, 2018, Action Against Hunger hosted its 19th Annual Gala Against Hunger at 583 Park Avenue in New York City. The organization presented its Humanitarian Award to author Chimamanda Adichie, its Corporate Award to longtime partner This Bar Saves Lives, and its first-ever Youth Award to 13-year-old Fox Kloske.
An estimated 350 people came together to celebrate Action Against Hunger’s lifesaving work to prevent and treat life-threatening malnutrition around the world. 2018 Gala Co-Chairs were Kara Young and Sandra Tamer, and presenters included Action Against Hunger’s Board Chairman Raymond Debbane and CEO Andrea Tamburini.
Guests were entertained by a trivia game, and motivated by Action Against Hunger’s ambitious, but achievable goal: to double, by 2020, the number of children treated for malnutrition and to help make sure countless families realize their goal of never needing hunger treatment at all.
Humanitarian Awardee Chimamanda Adichie
Action Against Hunger presented the 2018 Humanitarian Award to celebrated author and feminist Chimamanda Adichie. Ms. Adichie is a strong advocate for gender equality – one of the keys to the fight against hunger. When women are empowered to lead, when mothers are champions for health and nutrition in their families, children and communities everywhere benefit.
In her acceptance speech, Ms. Adichie spoke of her parents, who were forced to flee their comfortable home in Nigeria in the 1960s and depended on humanitarian organizations like Action Against Hunger to survive. She inspired and motivated attendees with her concluding remarks on finding hope:
"I cannot afford despair -- we can not afford despair. While there is so much in the world that can make one unhappy, and worried, it's also important to remember that there's so much kindness still in the world, and there's so much generosity. There are people doing wonderful things, and an example of that is being here today and being reminded that there are human beings who understand that we are all better off if our fellow human beings are better off."
Inaugural Youth Awardee Fox Kloske
With a new award this year, Action Against Hunger honored the work of a youth advocate: 13-year-old Fox Kloske. An avid runner, Fox competed in the 2018 Brooklyn Half-Marathon, his first-ever race of this distance. As he trained, he raised more than $3,000 for Action Against Hunger Hunger’s lifesaving programs – and then he finished the race first in his age group.
In his remarks, Fox spoke of his inspiration and of the important role that youth can play in changing the world for the better:
“Young people have a lot of empathy. We aren’t cynical yet. We care about the world and the things in it. When we see something wrong like hunger we want to do something but too often we leave the solutions to the people who made the problems in the first place. But regardless of who is responsible someday this world and its problems will be ours to reckon with. So, we ought to get ready.”
Corporate Partner Awardee This Bar Saves Lives
This Bar Saves Lives is a snack bar brand that gives back: for each bar sold, they donate lifesaving food aid to a malnourished child. A longtime partner of Action Against Hunger, they have donated more than 750,000 packets of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) to our programs in South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. The social enterprise recently committed to a ground-breaking new partnership with Action Against Hunger and the UK’s international development agency, DfID, that aims to disrupt the RUTF supply chain in Somalia – helping us get lifesaving treatment to more children, faster.
Accepting the Corporate Partner award were This Bar Saves Lives Co-Founder Ryan Devlin and CEO Paul Yoo.
Throughout the evening, common themes emerged: of finding hope amid discouraging headlines, of turning hope into actions that each and every one of us can take in the fight against hunger, and of the power of collective action. Inspired and generous, guests and friends of the organization raised more than $1.3 million to support Action Against Hunger’s lifesaving work around the world.
The world needs a better way to deal with hunger. Together, we’re creating it. For everyone. For good.