Various methods are used to relieve hunger, including directly supplying the hungry with food; helping to develop people's abilities to grow or otherwise secure their own food; helping to develop related secondary skills such as budgeting; advocating and implementing economic reforms to improve the availability of affordable and healthy food in the marketplace.
Tens of thousands of organisations are engaged in hunger-relief efforts. For some, such as governments, corporations and religious groups, hunger relief is not their primary focus. Other organisations are dedicated to helping the hungry: these range from grass-roots local establishments such as independent soup kitchens, to multilateral agencies operating as part of the UN, such as the FAO or the World Food Programme. Many of these organisations are connected by a web of national and international alliances. For example, in the United States The Alliance to End Hunger is a national group with many smaller member groups, and is itself a member of several larger international groups, including the international civil society group Stop Hunger Now and the UN's Alliance Against Hunger and Malnutrition.
World Hunger Year is an organization that seeks to address the root causes of hunger and poverty. WhyHunger was founded in 1975 by folk singer Harry Chapin, a social activist who was as well known for his humanitarian efforts as for his guitar ballads, and 95.5 WPLJ New York, legendary radio D.J. Bill Ayres. Its Board of Directors is currently chaired by Jen Chapin.
WhyHunger is convinced that solutions to hunger and poverty can be found at the grassroots level. WhyHunger advances long-term solutions to hunger and poverty by supporting community-based organizations that empower individuals and build self-reliance, i.e., offering job training, education and after school programs; increasing access to housing and healthcare; providing microcredit and entrepreneurial opportunities; teaching people to grow their own food; and assisting small farmers. WhyHunger connects these organizations to funders, media and legislators.
Throughout her works Lappé has argued that world hunger is caused not by the lack of food but rather by the inability of hungry people to gain access to the abundance of food that exists in the world and/or food-producing resources because they are simply too poor. She has posited that our current "thin democracy" creates a mal-distribution of power and resources that inevitably creates waste and an artificial scarcity of the essentials for sustainable living.