Entrepreneur Tony Robbins, a bestselling author, philanthropist and the world’s #1 life and business strategist, together with Feeding America®, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States, today announced that their multi-year joint campaign to combat food insecurity in America has surpassed a key milestone, but more effort must be made post-pandemic to adequately address the increased need for food assistance.
In its first seven years, Robbins and Feeding America, through their 1 Billion Meals Challenge campaign, have funded and helped provide nearly 800 million meals* to people in need in the United States. Reaching this key milestone means that the long-term partnership to combat hunger is well on pace to realize its goal of helping to secure 1 billion meals by December 31, 2024.
At this time, the need for such support is significant. Before the start of the pandemic, with American unemployment and poverty down, overall food insecurity had reached its lowest point since it was first measured in the 1990s. After the pandemic struck, unemployment, poverty and the need for food assistance all sharply rose. More than 45 million people (1 in 7), including 15 million children (1 in 5), were projected to face food insecurity in 2020, according to Feeding America estimates.
In 2021, Feeding America projects that 42 million people (1 in 8), including 13 million children (1 in 6), may experience food insecurity as a result of the pandemic, still well above pre-pandemic food insecurity levels in the United States.
“In the U.S., before COVID-19, more than 35 million men, women and children faced food insecurity,” Robbins said. “Since the onset of the pandemic, that number is projected to increase to more than 42 million. I have made it my mission in life to feed hungry Americans and will never stop working until every person in the world’s wealthiest nation has enough food to eat.”
Launched in 2015 as the 100 Million Meals Challenge, Robbins and Feeding America increased their already ambitious initial goals four years later and turned their campaign into the1 Billion Meals Challenge. To date, the campaign partnership has raised funds to help provide nearly 800 million meals to food-insecure individuals and families in the United States through the Feeding America network of 200 member food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs.
“We are so very grateful to Tony and all who joined in to reach this incredible milestone,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO at Feeding America. “His vision and leadership in the hunger space inspire others to take up the challenge to perform remarkable acts of kindness. We appreciate Tony for all that he has done and for all that he continues do on behalf of our neighbors facing hunger.”
Midway through its seventh year, the 1 Billion Meals Challenge hopes to achieve its annual goal of helping to provide 100 million meals per year to food-insecure individuals and families. Through the Challenge, every dollar raised helps provide at least 10 meals through the Feeding America network of food banks. Donations can be matched by Robbins’ annual leadership gift. All proceeds from his two most recent best-selling books: Money Master the Game and Unshakeable, and gifts from other donors answering Robbins’ call for support also help financially sustain the effort.
A supporter of hunger-relief efforts for more than four decades, Robbins became a Feeding America ambassador more than a decade ago. Each year, he promotes the 1 Billion Meals Challenge on his social channels, where he has nearly 23 million combined followers, as well as in his podcast, newsletters and direct mailings. Additionally, Robbins has been instrumental in inspiring individuals and corporations throughout the United States to support the cause and has played a key role in helping to attract new donors to the organization annually.