Hunger Free Communi-es
Accelerate Local Ac-on
History In the fall of 2002, The New York Times ran a series of ar-cles on
poverty in the U.S. One ar-cle described the town of Pembroke, Illinois, a
community so poor that some houses had dirt ﬂoors and there were -res on
many roofs to keep them from blowing away. Pam Koner, a Westchester, New
York mom and entrepreneur, read that ar-cle and felt compelled to help.
Koner contacted an outreach worker in Pembroke with the simple idea of
linking families she knew with “more” to families with less, and was given the
names of 17 of the neediest Pembroke families. She then convinced 16 friends
and neighbors to join her, and they each began sending monthly boxes of food
(and leYers) to “their” matched families. Family‐to‐Family was born. 17
families soon grew to 60… and a]er a ﬂurry of media exposure (including
coverage by CBS News, The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, People Magazine
and Reader’s Digest), 60 families grew to over 750 linked families across the U.S.
History 2009 at a Glance
Today Family‐to‐Family serves impoverished families in Arkansas, Illinois,
Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico, New
York, South Dakota, & West Virginia.
More than 2,100 children and adults currently receive food each month from
Family‐to‐Family’s dona-ng families.
Our over 1,700 dona-ng family members currently come from 32 states.
Annual dona-ons for the purchase of food for individual families total
approximately $157,000. F‐to‐F currently supplies families in need with 180,000
meals annually, and has supplied over 1,118,500 meals since we began.
The ﬁrst interna-onal model of Family‐to‐Family, opened in 2007 in Kampala,
Uganda, serving children and families devastated by the AIDS/HIV epidemic
How it works….
Food banks and supplemental food services programs o]en dry up before the
end of each month. In response to this crisis, each month, member families
across the U.S. each pack a box ﬁlled with 7 days worth of non‐perishable
dinner‐type foods, include a non‐food essen-al (e.g. warm winter gloves, paper
goods or over the counter medica-ons), and seal it with a leYer to their
sponsored family. The box packed by mom, dad and kids is shipped to a
community outreach worker in the receiving community who ensures that it is
delivered to the speciﬁc family in need which it is intended for. Families are
matched whenever possible by the number and ages of children. There are
limited middle men, Family‐to‐Family pulls the veil of anonymity and shame oﬀ
hunger, and reduces administra-ve costs.
A key aspect of the program is leYer wri-ng; sponsoring and sponsored families
exchange leYers, crea-ng a personal connec-on between them that provides
hope and inspira-on.
How it works….
Donor families sign up on our website (www.famtofamily.org) to sponsor a
family online choosing a family from one of ﬁve U.S. communi-es. $31 a month
is deducted from their credit card and 100% of the funds (minus the approx. $1
transac-on fee we are charged by PayPal) are used to purchase groceries locally
for “their” speciﬁc family. An on the ground community worker receives the
funds and shops for the local families which also encourage local economic
development. As with the food box model, sponsoring and sponsored families
are encouraged to exchange leYers or emails regularly. Donors are also
encouraged to send non‐food essen-als along with a gently used children’s
book, clothing, etc. to their sponsored family every month.
OUR SUPPLEMENTAL PROGRAMS are aimed at providing impoverished families with
a connec-on to the world outside their limited community, with hope for the future,
and a leg up out of poverty:
Victory Garden Project – a way to help families rise out of poverty and into self‐
suﬃciency by teaching the skills needed to grow and can fruits and vegetables and
to farm chickens. Families are mentored and supplied with seeds and chickens; a]er
they complete a growing season they in turn become mentors to other families.
Seeds for Change – A seed drive to keep families in our receiving communi-es
supplied with fruit and vegetable seeds. Donors purchase seeds online or in stores
and send them to Family‐to‐Family; we then distribute them to our community
outreach partners for distribu-on.
10,000 Families Strong Campaign – a registry of poten-al donors that receive regular
updates about F‐to‐F and our campaign to link families with “more” to families with
“profoundly less”. 10,000 Families Strong registered families are donors available to
help Family‐to‐Family extend its reach as our list of families in need grows.
Family‐to‐Family is working to expand the on the ground coordina-on of connec-ng
more donor families with the local food banks, community grocery store purchases
and personalized delivery through schools and pick up of food dona-ons with local
Family‐to‐Family is seeking to expand the Victory Garden program to provide fresh
and self sustaining food programs to the most impoverish communi-es they serve –
working with community supported agricultural programs, local municipali-es for
vacant open space and schools is currently being explored.
Family‐to‐Family will be re‐launching its website with a “KIVA” style online giving
program that will be able to beYer measure the success of direct to donor programs
around food deprived communi-es
What we are seeking:
Family‐to‐Family is seeking to expand its rela-onship with Feeding America and
Share Our Strength by delivering a partnership with an exis-ng “donor to recipient”
program that is proving to be innova-ve, collabora-ve and knowledgeable. The
Family‐to‐Family exis-ng “Army of Davids” is ready to roll‐out a collabora-ve
program that personalizes the issues of solving hunger in America.
Family‐to‐Family has numerous exis-ng program that take the veil oﬀ the anonymity
of hunger, connects individual donors with individuals who are food deprived and
thereby crea-ng an emo-onal connec-on with ongoing personalized solu-ons for all
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