George Roundy, in his early 20s, enrolled in The Hunger Project. Enrolling in The Hunger Project for George, was to take a personal stand for creating the end of hunger as an idea whose time has come. It was 1980 and for George, the idea that we could actually end hunger was a revelation and to think that he could somehow make a difference was life altering. Soon after enrolling, George became the community leader of The Hunger Project, organizing awareness and fundraising events throughout the Greater Phoenix community. One such event was the Run to End Hunger in Papago Park, Tempe. Over 800 people participated in the event, many of them enrolling in The Hunger Project.
In the early 80s, George was a systems engineer with ITT, a single father and a full-time volunteer as the Greater Phoenix Hunger Project Community Leader. Realizing this was a hand full, he contacted the headquarters for The Hunger Project in San Francisco, and after doing a two-week internship and offering up his commitment and systems engineering expertise, George joined the staff of The Hunger Project.
This new chapter went from 1982 to 1988 where George developed into an effective leader, building the systems that allowed The Hunger Project to communicate with the over six million people that had enrolled, donated or volunteered with this global movement. George became an Ending Hunger Briefing Leader, he led fundraising initiatives and he was part of the Operational Management team, managing the day-to-day operations of the organization.
Returning to Phoenix to be near his 11-year-old son, George and his wife Jolie (also an Ending Hunger Briefing Leader), moved from San Francisco in 1988. George and Jolie have consistently invested their financial resources, time, energy and love to the work of The Hunger Project since 1980 to present time. Recently, George organized a group of 21 people who hiked the Grand Canyon, from the North Rim to the South Rim in one day (24 miles) in honor of The Hunger Project. Raising over $20,000, these men and women dedicated their hike to a leader from Bangladesh, India or Africa that was demonstrating the courageous work of ending hunger in their community. Watch a video about this amazing event.
Following is the Vision, Mission and Principles of The Hunger Project. George and Jolie invite you to join them in making this vision, mission and these principles your own.
Our Vision A world where every woman, man and child leads a healthy, fulfilling life of self-reliance and dignity.
Our Mission To end hunger and poverty by pioneering sustainable, grassroots, women-centered strategies and advocating for their widespread adoption in countries throughout the world.
Our Principles Through our work to end hunger, we have recognized these ten principles as being fundamental to The Hunger Project. We challenge ourselves to ensure that each of our strategies builds on these principles.
1. Human Dignity. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights, including the right to food, health, work and education. The inherent nature of every person is creative, resourceful, self-reliant, responsible and productive. We must not treat people living in conditions of hunger as beneficiaries, which can crush dignity, but rather as the key resource for ending hunger.
2. Gender Equality. An essential part of ending hunger must be to cause society-wide change towards gender equality. Women bear the major responsibility for meeting basic needs, yet are systematically denied the resources, freedom of action and voice in decision-making to fulfill that responsibility.
3. Empowerment. In the face of social suppression, focused and sustained action is required to awaken people to the possibility of self-reliance, to build confidence, and to organize communities to take charge of their own development.
4. Leverage. Ending chronic hunger requires action that catalyzes large-scale systemic change. We must regularly step back — assess our impact within the evolving social/political/economic environment — and launch the highest leverage actions we can to meet this challenge.
5. Interconnectedness. Our actions are shaped by, and affect, all other people and our natural environment. Hunger and poverty are not problems of one country or another but are global issues. We must solve them not as “donors and recipients” but as global citizens, working as coequal partners in a common front to end hunger.
6. Sustainability. Solutions to ending hunger must be sustainable locally, socially, economically and environmentally.
7. Social Transformation. People’s self-reliance is suppressed by conditions such as corruption, armed conflict, racism and the subjugation of women. These are all rooted in an age-old and nearly universal patriarchal mindset that must be transformed as part of a fundamental shift in the way society is organized.
8. Holistic Approach. Hunger is inextricably linked to a nexus of issues including decent work, health, education, environmental sustainability and social justice. Only in solving these together will any of them be solved on a sustainable basis.
9. Decentralization. Individual and community ownership of local development is critical. Actions are most successful if decisions are made close to the people. This requires effective national and local government working in partnership with the people.
10. Transformative Leadership. Ending hunger requires a new kind of leadership: not top-down, authority-based leadership, but leadership that awakens people to their own power — leadership “with” people rather than leadership “over” people.
In sum, world hunger can be ended, but not by merely doing more of the same. Hunger is primarily a human issue, and ending hunger requires principles that are consistent with our shared humanity.