The Center for Hunger-Free Communities

The Center for Hunger-Free Communities (The Center) founded in 2004, is a community-engaged research, advocacy, service, and policy center of Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health. The Center engages in multi-faceted research and action with the goal of developing innovative, empirically-tested solutions to the challenges of hunger and economic insecurity. The Center’s mission is address hunger in all its forms by engaging in partnership with families, researchers, policymakers, and community leaders to:

  • Find solutions to hunger and poverty based on science and the human experience. 
  • Report on the health consequences of hunger and poverty to ensure accountability and enable action.
  • Engage those who have experience with poverty as full partners in developing research, policies, and programs that promote health.
  • Establish and support opportunities to build peace, nourishment, and a sense of shared community through our research, testimony, and action. 

In addition to the EAT Café, the Center’s other projects include: 

Witnesses to Hunger

a groundbreaking research and advocacy project featuring the voices and photography of parents and caregivers of young children who have experienced hunger and poverty firsthand. The photographs, along with the parent’s life stories, have been exhibited throughout the country, offering living testimony to the need for legislation that eliminates poverty and hunger in the United States. Members of Witnesses to Hunger work to encourage civic engagement in their own communities and in neighborhoods across the country.

Children's HealthWatch

a multi-site research effort that assesses how public policies and economic insecurity affect the health and development of very young children. The Center coordinates the Philadelphia site of Children’s HealthWatch, a network of pediatricians, public health researchers, and children’s health policy experts. Our findings help policymakers and the public better understand the social and economic factors that affect children’s health so they can make well-informed policy decisions that give all children equal opportunities for healthy, successful lives.

Building Wealth and Health Network

a financial self-empowerment program that provides matched savings accounts and financial education through peer support. The program is built into the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program in Philadelphia. The Network is a peer-oriented asset-building model that helps families break the cycle of poverty. Ultimately, the Network has the potential to alter the structure of the United States public welfare system by empowering families to build their assets, social networks, and career success.