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 to work with partners from public and private organizations, universities and the community to:

  • Find science-based solutions to hunger and economic insecurity;
  • Report on and monitor the health consequences of poverty and hunger;
  • Engage those who have experienced poverty as full partners in developing research, programs and policies that work;
  • Establish and support opportunities for an on-going national dialogue on poverty.

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. The parents also work to encourage more civic engagement in their own communities and in neighborhoods across the country.

Children's HealthWatch

A multi-site research effort that is assessing how public policy affects the food security, development and health of very young children. The Center coordinates the Philadelphia site of Children’s HealthWatch, which includes pediatricians and public health researchers who monitor child health from the front lines of pediatric care and use their research to inform policy.

Building Wealth and Health Network

An emerging research study that develops a new model of public benefits and microfinance that will leverage participants’ own strengths to become financially self-sufficient. The study is an official TANF demonstration project that aims to build financial, social and human capital through three program components: 1) asset-building through matched savings, 2) financial literacy education and 3) trauma-informed peer support groups. In partnership with the PA’s Department of Human Services, the project will run for five years beginning in 2014.