Blog What Will it Take to Cut Hunger in Half? Thomas Reynolds March 20, 2018 Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn Share on Email A message from Chief Executive Officer Thomas Reynolds My 11-year old son is learning about salmon at school. A large aquatic tank in his school’s main entrance recently contained small, red-hued salmon eggs. These eggs eventually gave way to tiny salmon. A recent visit to a stream running through a local park offered a glimpse into the arduous journey salmon make on their return to spawning areas. My son is learning about the connections between our environment and our local food system. He is learning to appreciate where food comes from and appreciate the complexity of supporting healthy ecosystems. I have deep respect for farmers, ranchers, and fishers in Washington state who play a vital role in our food system. Since returning to Seattle last summer after more than a decade away, I have spent a significant amount of time with a variety of food-producing communities, as they provide much of the best-loved items Northwest Harvest distributes to food banks across Washington. It might be hard to imagine, but in a state so robustly rich with agricultural assets, hunger remains a fixture in our society. One in eight Washingtonians suffer the indignity of struggling with hunger. One in five children go to school with the stress of not knowing if they’ll be able to eat dinner that night. Such extreme disparity illustrates a lack of justice facing many of our local communities. We must address this urgent need by supplying food for dinner tables across the state—1.6 million Washingtonians accessed food banks last year. However, it’s going to take more than just distributing food to food banks to address the underlying causes of hunger. Northwest Harvest is working with people and communities who struggle with hunger. We are bringing together business leaders, policy-makers, growers, advocates, donors, and volunteers to identify longer-term solutions to reduce the number of people who are at risk of hunger over the next decade. Starting this spring, we are asking a wide array of stakeholders what they believe it will take to cut hunger in half over the next decade. By building a database of ideas and innovations for sustainable solutions and taking action on the most promising concepts, Northwest Harvest seeks to unlock the potential of Washington to be a beacon of equity for all in this wonderful state we call home. I’m looking forward to my first spring in Washington in many, many years. I’ve always found spring to be an incredibly hopeful season.