LYNDONVILLE, Vermonet — In a land where 27% of adults are obese, it’s easy to see why America’s hunger problem is often overlooked. And, yet undernourishment in this country is significant, with devastating consequences for millions of Americans.
One in six Americans are food insecure with nearly 50 million Americans living in food insecure households.
Perhaps as surprising as these figures is the identity of one of the people combating them: Swedish DJ superstar Avicii. The 24 year-old Grammy-nominated DJ, born Tim Bergling, has made sizable contributions toward fighting global hunger — including, notably, in America.
In 2011, Avicii and his manager, executive producer Ash Pournouri, founded the House for Hunger charity. The charity, they say, is intended to demonstrate the values of “generosity, love and unity” inherent to house music while “addressing the issue of hunger in a very concrete way.”
In January of 2012, Avicii and Pournouri kicked off their House for Hunger tour, which boasted 26 shows packed into 27 days all across the U.S. The tour raised $1 million — which the DJ donated to Feeding America, the U.S.’s largest hunger-relief charity.
Chairman and co-founder of the Feeding America charity, Lauren Bush Lauren, announced, “We’re thrilled to be the beneficiary of Avicii and House of Hunger’s continued efforts to raise funds for the fight against hunger. Avicii is truly leading the charge in inspiring young people, and the house music industry, to get involved and to give back.”
So, what inspired one of the world’s biggest DJs to give a seven-digit donation to fight hunger in America — a country he’s not even from?
Commenting that he’s spent so much time in United States it’s “like a second home,” Avicii said it was the statistics on hunger in the U.S. that sparked him to action: “Hunger hits everywhere and the U.S. is not immune to it. For me personally, when I found out how widespread the hunger problem in the United States actually was, it blew my mind. I never would have imagined that 1 in 6 people in America struggle with hunger or that 1 in 4 children routinely do not get enough to eat.”
Its donation to Feeding America helped provide 8 million meals to needy families throughout the U.S.
Part of House for Hunger’s message is that: “there is enough food in the world today for everyone to have the food and nourishment they need, and yet there are over 870 million undernourished people in the world today.”
As a part of its fight against world hunger, the charity continued its efforts in 2013. House for Hunger donated funds from Avicii’s two Grammy-week performances in L.A. last February to the FEED foundation. The donation provided two million school meals to programs in the most impoverished parts of Africa.
On his charity work, Avicii has said, “I feel very blessed to be in the position that I’m in to begin with, being able to do what I love and traveling around the world seeing all these amazing places and meeting all of these different people from different cultures. Hunger hits everywhere and no country is immune to it.”
– Kelley Calkins