STATEMENT: Share Our Strength’s Billy Shore Congratulates Tom Vilsack on Cabinet Nomination

“We look forward to working in future partnership with Secretary Vilsack and the Department of Agriculture in fighting the hunger and hardship faced by so many children and their families in our nation today,” says Shore.

Contact: Christy Felling,

Washington, DC - This week, President-Elect Joe Biden nominated Tom Vilsack as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The following is a statement from Share Our Strength Founder and Executive Chair Billy Shore on that nomination:

"On behalf of Share Our Strength and its No Kid Hungry campaign, I would like to congratulate Tom Vilsack on his nomination to become the next Secretary of Agriculture. Secretary Vilsack is a long-standing champion of children and families in need in this nation, with a proven record of action on their behalf. And, at a time when record numbers of children are facing hunger as the COVID pandemic rages on, his deep knowledge of programs and the Department will allow him to bring swift, immediate focus to that crisis. 

Hunger is a solvable problem in this nation, but it will take hard work and strong commitment. Hunger and poverty in this nation were already at unacceptable levels, and the disparities that have long existed have only been exacerbated by the COVID pandemic. The last few months have erased a decade of progress toward ending child hunger, and today millions of families are now facing unemployment, eviction, poverty and hardship at alarming rates. Recent projections show that as many as 17 million children faced hunger in 2020. 

This hardship has hit rural, Black and Latino communities hardest in our nation. As our food system intersects with race and income, as well as health, educational, and environmental inequities, we must bring increased focus to the role food plays in building equity in the United States today.

Hungry kids can’t wait. We are facing a Lost Generation, and the hunger that children face today will change the rest of their lives.

We need to act, and we need to act now. As a nation, we have programs that can work together to make sure hungry kids and families get the nutrition they need, but the need is too vast. These programs must be strengthened to address the problem at scale. 

We must start by increasing SNAP benefits by 15%, or $25 per person each month, so families can purchase more of the food their children need, when they need it. And we must focus on closing the summer meal gap by making sure schools and organizations have the resources and flexibility to adapt their programs to meet the needs of families in their communities.

Share Our Strength is committed to bringing food justice to our anti-hunger work and, as part of this mission, we are looking forward to working in partnership with Secretary Vilsack and the USDA in bringing a new era of accountability, justice and equity in our work to end hunger in this nation." 


About No Kid Hungry

No child should go hungry in America. But in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, 1 in 4 kids could face hunger this year. No Kid Hungry is working to end childhood hunger by helping launch and improve programs that give all kids the healthy food they need to thrive. This is a problem we know how to solve. No Kid Hungry is a campaign of Share Our Strength, an organization committed to ending hunger and poverty.