Action Against Hunger Releases Band Together Campaign and New Poll Showing Americans Want Greater U.S. Leadership on Global Hunger

Campaign Launches on World Food Day to Promote Awareness of Global Hunger and Access to Lifesaving Medical Interventions to Address Growing Public Health Crisis

Action Against Hunger, the world’s hunger specialist, today announced Band Together, a global campaign to raise awareness about rising rates of deadly hunger. The campaign aims to empower parents around the world and scale up medical interventions to address this growing public health issue. 

Launched today in Kenya and the U.S., Band Together centers around an inexpensive arm band that acts as a “nutrition thermometer” and is a first step in hunger treatment. The band wraps around the middle of a child’s upper arm, stopping at a color that corresponds to their nutrition status: green indicates good health; yellow or red mean the child is malnourished. With nearly half of all child deaths linked to malnutrition, this simple tool can help save millions of lives. Action Against Hunger aims to get millions more bands, training, and treatment to families in need around the world.

Band Together is grounded in a new Global Hunger Awareness Survey, also released today by Action Against Hunger, which revealed that most Americans don’t realize hunger is a leading contributor to child deaths, but when presented with the facts, 77 percent want to help. 

“Most people surveyed think food donations are more effective than monetary donations. Actually, life-threatening hunger is a medical issue. With funds for treatment, it can be cured in 90 percent of cases,” said Action Against Hunger CEO Dr. Charles Owubahwho experienced hunger himself growing up on a farm in Ghana before getting his Ph.D. in Natural Resource Management and Policy from Purdue University. He has spent more than 20 years in the field, and currently advances efforts to end hunger for 21 million people in 47 countries. “With Band Together, we aim to change the way people think about hunger and how to solve it.”   

“My goal in life is to spread more joy and reduce suffering any way I can. It makes me feel good when I lay my head on the pillow at night that I could be of service to someone else,” said Kristen Bell, an actress and co-founder of This Saves Lives, an Action Against Hunger supporter. On banding together against hunger, Bell added, “It makes me feel purposeful knowing we are changing children’s lives around the world.”

The new survey also found:

  • More than 80% of Americans think their government isn’t doing enough on global hunger, with younger generations most likely to demand greater U.S. leadership. Gen Z and Millennials are more likely to say that the U.S. is doing enough to address illegal immigration (35% and 40%, respectively) and terrorism (27% and 32%) than to say the U.S. is doing enough to address hunger in developing nations (16% and 25%).
  • Voters look favorably on U.S. presidential candidates taking a stand against global hunger, led by 73% of Gen Z.
  • Most Americans support tax increases on ultra-wealthy individuals (57%) and corporations (58%) to combat child deaths from hunger. Gen Z (62%) and Millennials (62% and 63%) are even more likely to support increased taxes for the cause.
  • Americans are unaware of the facts of global hunger. 69% of Americans think that global hunger has stayed the same or gotten worse, when in fact, over the past 40 years, the proportion of malnourished children has been cut in half. Despite this progress, more than 65% of respondents say the number of child deaths from hunger is higher than they realized. 

“The survey shows a critical need to raise awareness of global hunger. Band Together aims to put this urgent public health issue where it belongs: at the top of the agenda for national and world leaders,” said Hajir Maalim, Action Against Hunger’s Regional Director for the Horn and Eastern Africa. 

Band Together will roll out over the coming year with expanded corporate partnerships, a media campaign with CNN, social media activation, a signature video, and consumer engagement via events and merchandise spotlighting the campaign theme. 

Banding together with other international NGOs, Action Against Hunger today released a joint statement calling on world leaders to ensure a more effective, efficient and accessible hunger treatment system. Fifty million children globally suffer from acute malnutrition, yet fewer than one in four has access to care. If the world stays on its current path, tens of millions more children will die of hunger by 2030, the target for the UN Sustainable Development Goal of ending malnutrition worldwide.

According to the 2015 Global Nutrition Report, every $1 spent fighting malnutrition deliver as much as a $16 return to society. 

The Global Hunger Awareness Study was conducted by Marketing & Research Resources, a consumer insights and market research firm, from September 4 – 13, 2019. Findings were based on a survey of more than 1,000 American adults including Gen Z (ages 18-24), Millennials (ages 25-39), Gen X (ages 40-54), and Baby Boomers (age 55-64), weighted demographically to represent the U.S. population. 

Action Against Hunger is the world’s hunger specialist and a nonprofit leader in a global movement that aims to end life-threatening hunger for good. For 40 years, the humanitarian organization has innovated better ways to treat and prevent hunger. It serves more than 21 million people annually across nearly 50 countries and earned a 4-star Charity Navigator rating for its 13th consecutive year. 

Press Contact: Emily Tyree,

Action Against Hunger is the world’s hunger specialist and leader in a global movement that aims to end life-threatening hunger for good within our lifetimes. For more than 40 years, the humanitarian and development organization has been on the front lines, treating and preventing hunger across nearly 50 countries. It served more than 17 million people in 2019 alone.