Dr. Melony Samuels, Executive Director and Founder of The Campaign Against Hunger, is a champion among community leaders. Before becoming TCAH’s fearless leader in 1998, she was led by compassion to support a struggling single mother out of her own pocket. Dr. Samuels knew this would make a difference for one family but recognized that the fight against hunger goes far beyond individual acts of kindness. It takes a village. From the start, a community’s approach to caring has directed everything TCAH does.
Over the past twenty-two years, The Campaign Against Hunger has grown and stretched from operating out of a small panty in a church basement to meeting some of the day’s toughest challenges–like youth empowerment, nutrition education, and community engagement–head-on. We have experienced a few name changes (Grace International → Bed-Stuy Campaign Against Hunger → The Campaign Against Hunger), served neighbors in 150 zip codes with food and other vital programs and services, and sought to bring food justice to New York City along the way.
The once small basement pantry has become a SuperPantry emporium and acts as a model for client choice. We now offer hundreds of nutrition education classes, workshops, and cooking demonstrations each year for our clients (or at least we did in pre-COVID times–working to adapt our programming now!). Our urban farms and the Green Teens who maintain them have continued to infuse heart-healthy fruits and vegetables into food deserts and provide gainful employment to local youth. We now offer a suite of social services, including SNAP registration, health insurance enrollment, tax filing preparation, and much more.
Our story continues to evolve as food insecurity, economic inequality, and health disparities continue to plague our communities. We invite you to join us in our mission to empower our neighbors to lead healthier, more productive, and self-sufficient lives by increasing access to safe, nutritious food and related resources.
“I enjoy coming here. Everyone is always helpful and courteous and I can also put food on the table for my family.”