Hunger Free America (HFA) honored anti-hunger champions at their annual gala at Battery Park in Manhattan on Thursday, May 11th. Honorees included Anna & Raj Asava who pioneered a community affinity model through the HungerMitao movement. Other honorees were Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, and the law firm Perkins Coie, LLP. The gala night was addressed by Hon. Consul General of India (NY), Shri. Randhir Jaiswal.

“We are thrilled to be honoring such esteemed individuals at this year’s gala,” said Joel Berg, CEO, Hunger Free America. “At a time when more than 35 million Americans are facing food insecurity, and pandemic-era food benefits have been rolled back, our mission to end hunger in this country has never been more important. I am particularly inspired by the work of Anna & Raj Asava. So it is a particular joy to honor them and the entire Indian American community.

Anna and Raj Asava founded HungerMitao (wipe out hunger) in 2017. Their goal to was to galvanize the Indian American community around helping fight food insecurity through local food banks. Hunger Mitao is a volunteer-driven grassroots movement. It focuses on raising awareness about hunger in the USA and improving community engagement. The organization channels resources and contributions of the Indian American community to fight hunger in America.

Over the last five years since its launch on September 29, 2017, HungerMitao has enabled 50+ million nutritious meals for food challenged individuals and families by galvanizing the community in support of domestic anti-hunger charities. They include Feeding America and Food Banks in North Texas, Tarrant Area, Houston, New York City, Atlanta, Seattle, and SE Michigan. Amid the pandemic, they shared this model with the Chinese and Hispanic American communities and supported them as they joined in the fight against hunger.

Carolyn Maloney, a former representative for New York has been a fierce advocate for economic equality. During her tenure she supported policies to end domestic hunger. She was the first woman to represent New York’s 12th Congressional District and the first woman to represent New York City’s 7th Councilmanic district. Maloney also was the first woman to Chair the Joint Economic Committee, a House and Senate panel that examines and addresses the nation’s most pressing economic issues.

The third honoree Perkins Coie, LLP is a leading international law firm with a successful community service program that generously supported anti- hunger work through pro bono services across the country.

Hunger Free America (HFA), is a nonpartisan, national nonprofit group. It works to enact the policies and programs needed to end domestic hunger and ensure that all Americans have sufficient access to nutritious food.

As a direct service provider, HFA assists low-income families obtain aid from government programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) — formerly called the Food Stamp program — and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) so that people struggling to pay their bills have access to nutritious food.

This gala raised thousands of dollars to support the important work Hunger Free America does throughout the year.