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Press Release for The Walk for America’s Children

September 3, 2013
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Hari Dev Singh Khalsa and Kokayi Nosakhere

Summary: Alaskan activists are choosing to walk 1000 miles in an attempt to spark a national conversation about child hunger in America.

Although it is public information, a crucial discussion over how to address the fact that 1 out of 4 American children currently live in poverty rate households, is not occurring. The worldview of 31 million American citizens is being shaped by unnecessary deprivation. Ideas are on the table by several prominent anti-poverty thinkers, however, these ideas are not apart of the national dialogue.

On Feb. 4, 2013 former Clinton advisor on hunger related issues, Joel Berg, who also supervises the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, suggested President Obama conduct a series of town hall meetings to highlight the existence of child hunger inside the United States and what the potential solutions are. He then presented a proposal, which included the creation of “food jobs”.

Alaskan grassroots anti-hunger advocate Kokayi Noskahere agrees with Joel Berg and the esteemed host of other anti-poverty and hunger heroes.

“In order to end childhood hunger in the United States, the president and Congress must work together to ensure a full-employment economy with sufficient living-wage jobs available in all low-income rural, suburban, and urban areas nationwide, as well as ensure that federal nutrition benefits are able to sustain families for a full month and that more working families are able to access them.” (http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/poverty/report/2013/02/04/51178/how-president-obama-can-reverse-americas-worsening-hunger-metrics/)

Nosakhere is known in Alaska as the Lead Coordinator for the By2015:AMERICA movement. The purpose of the Movement is to spark a national conversation on the existence of child hunger inside the United States and to inspire practical, grassroots-based solutions to address it.

In February 2012, he led a political engagement called “The Juneau Hunger Strike”. The engagement inspired legislators to allot, for the first time, $3 million to the state-wide school nutrition budget. Previously, only parental payments and federal reimbursements maintained the Breakfast and Lunch program served out of Alaskan schools.

Nosakhere disagrees with some very popular ideas being used to address child hunger. For example, he recently “published an article with the “Alaska Commons” media outlet detailing how non-profit thinking is not going to resolve child hunger.

(http://www.alaskacommons.com/2013/07/31/why-non-profit-thinking-is-not-going-to-end-child-hunger-in-america/)

In a recently released YouTube video Nosakhere explains why the massive Food Network campaign didn’t produce the results such thinking expected.

“I just spent four months in Minneapolis interacting with such grassroots organizations as Justice for Terrance Franklin, Occupy Homes Minnesota and Neighborhoods Organizing for Change. The caliber of citizens that I encountered aren’t looking for band-aid solutions. If an idea smells anywhere near a band-aid they run from it. They are looking for a sense of definitive change. Change that they can point to and say, ‘It was this, now, clearly it is that.'” Nosakhere said.

“People on the ground are not being asked to participate in critical conversations that directly affect their lives. So, I am here in Florida preparing to figure out a way to directly engage the people. After all, it’s our children who are hungry. Congress’ children aren’t hungry. The Supreme Court’s children are not hungry. The President’s babies are not hungry. Our children are hungry. We need to have a conversation where we tell our elected representatives how we want them to help us feed our babies.”

Beginning September 5, 2013, Nosakhere and a small group of supporters plan to Walk from Ft. Lauderdale to Washington, D.C. to inspire such a conversation. That’s approximately 1000 miles.

“Child hunger needs to become a national issue. That’s our goal. And it begins by asking average Americans, ‘Hey, did you know?’ and ‘How do you think we can end this?'” Nosakhere said.

To contact the Lead Coordinator please email him at by2015america@gmail.com or call him at 907-884-4710

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