HANNYS Timeline
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HANNYS 30 Year History (as PDF)

A look back over our 30 year history:

1982: Hunger Action Network is formed at “Food, Famine and Federalism” conference on May 20th.

1983: Plays leadership role in improving handling of federal surplus commodities. Mobilizes to oppose cuts in food stamps. Begins organizing regional anti-hunger networks.

1984: Helps obtain $7.5 million in start-up funds for Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP), including $1.25 million for EFPs. Conducts statewide survey of EFPs.

1985: Hunger Action Network organizes World Food Day activities at state legislature. Hires first staff.

1986: Pressures NYS Council on Food and Nutrition Policy to coordinate state action on hunger. On April 22, Hunger Action Network holds its first rally and march, from State Capitol to NYSDSS to push for expedited food stamp reform. NYS Office of Community Gardens created.

1987: Achieves funding for capital equipment for EFPs. Nutrition outreach program enacted. Secures next day issuance of expedited food stamps. Hunger Action Network releases “Food with Dignity,” a study of 2,000 households using food pantries, with funding from Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.

1988: Hunger Action Network organizes it first Lobby Day. Conducts first survey of legislative candidates. Launches campaign to increase welfare benefits. Obtains funding for nutritionists at food banks.

1989: Gov. Cuomo cites Hunger Action Network in calling for welfare benefit increase. NYC office opens.

1990: Hunger Action Network begins campaign to expand school breakfast program statewide. Releases “Asleep at the Wheel,” a study on how NYS should strengthen its oversight of local welfare offices.

1991: Organizes Hunger Awareness Day. “Beyond Emergencies: Future Directions for EFPs” report is published. Hunger Action Network wins campaign for direct enrollment of food stamp households in school meals program. Conducts first SNAPSHOT survey of local DSS offices. Holds first Feast for Famine, our annual dining gala.

1992: Hunger Action Network helps start Harvest for the Hungry Garden at state office campus in Albany. Helps organize soup kitchen protest of 3,000 at Democratic National convention in NYC.

1993: Legislation passes to expand school breakfast program statewide. Client empowerment program starts. Hunger Action Network organizes local DSS coalitions. Launches statewide campaign to raise state minimum wage.

1994: Initiates “Jobs Now” welfare reform plan focused on job creation, increased access to child care and health care, in addition to “Make Work Pay.” Community Voices Heard starts in NYC as a welfare rights group. Initiates Children’s Anti-Hunger Poster Project. Starts seedlings distribution in Capital District.

1995: Works on welfare reform at both state and national level. Releases study on the effectiveness of workfare in moving participants into jobs. Organizes Camp Patakiville “homeless city” protest at State Capitol. Organizes first Thanksgiving Fast on welfare and hunger issues.

1996: Conducts SNAPSHOT survey of child care. Releases report showing many counties pay workfare participants sub-minimum wage. Documents one million jobs gap in NY. Publishes national article on privatization of welfare. Pressures Governor to sign food stamp waiver for unemployed adults. Organizes NYC Salute to Anti-Hunger leaders. Baby Boost fairs organized in Harlem and Albany.

1997: Earned Income Disregard raised. Hunger Action Network launches Fair Budget Campaign. Publishes “Faces of Welfare Reform.”

1998: Launches Living Wage campaign for Albany County. Drafts Empire State Jobs Bill to create transitional jobs for welfare participants. Helps organize the NYC Coalition for Job Creation. Develops model county Employment Plans for welfare participants. Develops model corporate accountability legislation for New York.

1999: Obtains $12 million increase in state funds for emergency food programs. Completes second statewide survey of EFP guests. Launches annual Grow an Extra campaign to get backyard gardeners to donate to EFPs. Obtains state funding for welfare transportation initiatives such as Wheels to Work.

2000: Faith and Hunger Network is organized. Obtains $47 million in funding for job creation for welfare participants. Achieves an end to Learnfare program that penalizes poor children who miss school. Toll-free Hunger Hotline started. Initiates Empire State Economic Security (ES2) campaign.

2001: Hunger Action Network initiates lawsuit against NYS Labor Department for failing to raise minimum wage. Fair Budget campaign launches effort to reform state budget process. Helps pass legislation to allow work study to count towards meeting welfare work requirements.

2002: More than 200 people attend TANF Reauthorization conference in Albany. Hunger Action Network works with Cong. McNulty to sponsor Congressional briefing in DC. Co-coordinates the national Welfare Made a Difference Campaign. Helps obtain an additional $40 million in funding for child care. Online Emergency Food Program (EFP) directory established.

2003: Convinces legislators to close the Geoffrey the Giraffe corporate tax loophole and gets small increase in personal income tax on wealthy New Yorkers. Passed a basic education bill for welfare participants, but later vetoed by Governor Pataki. Upstate Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project initiated.

2004: Obtains an increase in the state minimum wage to $7.15 an hour. Largest legislative action day of 350 people helps defeat cuts to welfare and health care. Initiates campaign to reestablish NYS Policy Council. Council on Food Policy. Publishes guide “Growing a Healthy New York: Innovative Food Projects that End Hunger and Strengthen Communities.”

2005: Hunger Action helps introduce legislation to create a universal health care commission. Publishes “Job Creation and Housing Capital Programs” to highlight the job creation aspects of affordable housing development. ES2 coalition successful in helping to achieve $25 million in additional funding for housing capital programs, including a $10 million increase in the Housing Trust Fund.

2006: Obtains $100 million state increase in HEAP Funding. Assembly passes universal health care commission bill 135 to 1. Legislature agrees to reforms in the Charity Health Care Program at hospitals. Governor agrees to auction off all permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, raising hundreds of millions of dollars annually for taxpayers. Launches statewide campaign to raise welfare benefits.

2007: Hunger Actions wins $5.15 million increase in HPNAP. Various corporate tax loopholes closed. $200,000 is allocated in state budget for universal health care study; Governor appoints Task Force to develop universal health proposal. Timothy’s Law on mental health insurance parity passed. NYS Office of Community Gardens re-established. Hunger Action starts a low-income CSA in West Harlem. NYS Food Policy Council established by Executive Order

2008: Helps open 2 new summer feeding sites in Poughkeepsie. Organizes a low-income CSA project in Long Island City. Helps launch Single Payer NY to coordinate statewide action. Hunger Action joins coalition organized by Center for Working Families to promote the Green Jobs, Green Homes proposal to create 30,000 plus jobs by energy retrofitting up to one million ones.

2009: Wins a three year commitment to raise the state basic welfare grant by 10% a year, the first increase in 19 years. Helps enact a state millionaire’s tax. Helps secure $70 million in state funding transitional jobs and other jobs programs for welfare participants. HPNAP funding increased by $4.4 million. Bigger Better Bottle Bill enacted. Hamilton Hill Food Processing Project begins production. Launches campaign to raise state minimum wage to $10 an hour.

2010: Hunger Action Network helps coordinate statewide work on the reauthorization of federal child nutrition programs. Along with Just Food, convenes NYC groups to begin work on Farm Bill reauthorization with more focus on healthy foods, family farmers and ending hunger. Releases report documenting failure of NYS’s welfare to work programs. Advocates for NYS Stock Transfer Tax to fund a 500,000 public jobs programs. State study concludes that single payer health care is most cost effective approach for NYS.

2011: Hunger Action Network supports efforts to protect NYC Community Gardens. Helps organize May 12 protests against Wall Street. Pushes for a peace dividend to resolve federal deficit. Millionaire’s Tax partially extended. Joins coalition in support of a Living Wage Law for NYC.

2012: Achieves final increase in the basic welfare grant despite opposition by Governor. Assembly Speaker announces that raising state minimum wage is his top priority.


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