OCALA, Florida — Yoko Ono, or Yoko Ono Lennon, is well known as the widow of famous musician John Lennon. Just as definingly, Ono has made a name for herself through her long career in the arts. From music to filmmaking, she has done it all. Yet, her contributions go beyond art alone. Using her fame, Ono has been an advocate for global peace for much of her life. She has supported various charitable organizations including Amnesty International, Soles4Souls and the Elton John Aids Foundation.
Hard Rock International, mostly known for its music venues, has also made notable humanitarian contributions. One organization that Yoko Ono and Hard Rock International have supported is WhyHunger. The artist and the two organizations have teamed up in an effort to combat world hunger. Significantly, this partnership aligns with the 50-year anniversary of the late John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
The Founding of WhyHunger and Its Mission
WhyHunger’s history spans 40 years. After Harry Chapman and DJ Bill Ayres began the organization in 1975, it went on to support grassroots efforts and social movements that sought to end global hunger. The organization channels its efforts through different programs. Solidarity for sustainable access to nutritious food stands as a pillar of the organization’s belief system. Moreover, a seemingly perpetual assertion that “change is possible” propels the organization into new initiatives and ideas.
To this day, WhyHunger’s mission focuses on ensuring that every human being has access to nutritional food resources. The organization’s mission statement suggests its fundamental hope that such a goal is attainable.
WhyHunger’s Programs and Successes
WhyHunger fights global starvation and malnutrition by running various programs with different goals.
The program called Global Movements carries out the international objectives of WhyHunger. Global Movements helps social movements around the world to promote “food sovereignty and the basic rights to food, land, water and sustainable livelihoods for all people.” The Artists Against Hunger and Poverty program also works on a global scale. Musical artists and the industry as a whole capitalize on influence to speak out against hunger and poverty while simultaneously carrying out essential fundraising.
The program has raised around $13 million for global community organizations fighting hunger. WhyHunger’s work had an extremely positive impact in 2020. Among its accomplishments, the organization provided $689,808 to help 50 community-based projects across 25 different countries. It invested hundreds of thousands of additional dollars for separate socioeconomic efforts, forged partnerships across worldwide borders and raised millions in donations with partners and individual actors.
Yoko Ono’s Partnership with WhyHunger and Hard Rock International
Yoko Ono works alongside WhyHunger through the program Imagine There’s No Hunger. This program has been extremely successful in helping train 47,800 community members on the proper “techniques for sustained food production.” It has also helped raise $6.8 million in the battle against childhood hunger. On April 21, 2021, Hard Rock International stated that it would expand its partnership with WhyHunger and Yoko Ono to continue the fight against global hunger. Hard Rock will give 30% of proceeds made from the sale of new commemorative Lennon merchandise to WhyHunger. Additionally, it will also contribute a minimum of $450,000 to the organization.
Global hunger is an issue that WhyHunger believes can be resolved. The organization has been successful in the past and has resolved itself to tackling hunger in more significant ways with time. Thanks to the continued support of Yoko Ono and Hard Rock International, WhyHunger can advance its mission of a full, healthy future for all.
– Jacob E. Lee
Photo: Wikimedia Commons