In continuing this Women’s History Month, it’s important to reflect on how far women have come. Marie Curie once said, “nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more so that we may fear less.” Fearless women and leaders that came before us helped pave the way for women today.
When it comes to childhood hunger in the US, millions of women, including mothers, cafeteria workers, advocates and leaders have worked to ensure kids have the three meals a day they need to thrive. Today we highlight four brave, courageous and determined women that led groundbreaking movements to help both women and children alike have more rights.
Take a trip with us as we look back on these historic women who made history.
*Listed in order of year
|Patsy Mink was the first woman of color elected to the U.S. House of Representatives and the first Asian American woman to serve in Congress in 1964. Her time in office was spent fighting for the rights of women and girls, racial equity, affordable childcare and introduced bills like Title IX, the Early Childhood Education Act and the Women’s Educational Equality Act.
|Shirley Chisholm was the first Black woman in Congress and the designer of the WIC(Women, Infants, and Children) program. During her time in Congress, she focused on ensuring kids and families had access to food by fighting for the expansion of food assistance programs to all states. Her legacy lives on today as WIC being an essential lifeline to millions of Americans struggling with food insecurity.
|Fannie Lou’s experience growing up with food insecurity inspired her to ensure Black rural families in Mississippi had access to food. She founded the Freedom Farm Cooperative which supported Black farmers and sharecroppers. The cooperative ran for seven years and helped 1,500 families. Fannie’s legacy inspires a modern food-justice movement committed to feeding families, improving economic independence, and lifting up communities.
|Marian Wright Edelman is known for her dedication to the service of kids, with the belief that “a nation that does not stand for children does not stand for anything.” She helped to establish the Head Start Program and Children’s Defense Fund which promoted policies that helped kids. “There should be no hungry people—especially no hungry children—in any community in rich America,” she said.
We are incredibly grateful for women like Patsy, Shirley, Fannie Lou and Marian who believed so strongly in women’s and children’s rights and are proud to continue their mission to end childhood hunger.