WASHINGTON, DC – On Thursday, September 6, 2012, the White House welcomed 11 Champions of Change who have committed themselves to Strengthening Food Security in the United States and around the world. These individuals know that hunger is an issue that touches the lives of people all around us.
North Alabama’s Rev. Sally Allocca was among those recognized. She is the pastor of East Lake UMC and the founder and Executive Director of Promoting Empowerment and Enrichment Resources (P.E.E.R., Inc.).P.E.E.R., Inc., a North Alabama Conference Advance Special, is Sally's vision for transforming the diverse, low-income neighborhood where she resides into a thriving community that is empowered with resources for healthy living, learning, and working. P.E.E.R., Inc‘s projects include running the bustling East Lake Farmers Market, the East Lake Community Kitchen, and the East Lake Mobile Market. These programs increase food security and improve nutrition for those in need, especially children and senior adults, in the eastern area of Birmingham, AL.
Today, almost 1 billion people do not have access to a sufficient supply of nutritious and safe food, and 16 million children in the United State experience food insecurity each year. Using innovative approaches, these champions are striving to ensure that no man, woman, or child goes hungry and inspiring others to do the same.
“Today’s champions are examples of the groundbreaking work being done to tackle hunger at home and abroad. These individuals are making improved access to healthy food a reality for millions of individuals in need,” said Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan. “Establishing global food security isn’t just critical for those now suffering from hunger. It is also vital to our long-term economic prosperity. We applaud the champions for their efforts to empower families and communities and to reduce the depth and severity of hunger around the world.”
The Champions of Change program was created as a part of President Obama’s Winning the Future initiative. Each week, a different sector is highlighted and groups of Champions, ranging from educators to entrepreneurs to community leaders, are recognized for the work they are doing to serve and strengthen their communities.
Read the Champions of Change blog "Bringing Fresh and Healthy Food to East Lake" in which Sally tells her story.