On September 21st, Heifer International will host a fundraiser “Beyond Hunger: A Place at the Table,” at the Montage Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles. The event co-hosted by Hollywood entertainers / activists Diane Lane, Nina Jacobson, Jane Fonda, Sheryl Crow, Bonnie Raitt and Tracey Ullman will honor Academy Award-winning actress Mary Steenburgen and Emmy Award-winning actor Ted Danson for their commitment to Heifer International.
Steenburgen and Danson promote Heifer International awareness through their participation in organization events, their advocacy of its work on television, the radio and at celebrity events. Steenburgen and her daughter, Lilly McDowell even started Nell’s Compass, a soy candle company which contributes $2 of every candle sale to Heifer International.
According to president and CEO of Heifer International Pierre Ferrari, “Ted and Mary have been friends of Heifer International for a long time. Their personal and professional association has helped us in more ways that we couldn’t begin to count. We owe them a great deal and this event, along with celebrating the power and promise of women, is an appropriate way to say thank you to them for all they do.”
Proceeds from the evening will directly benefit Heifer’s mission to end hunger and poverty and protect the Earth. Two-time Grammy winning singer-songwriter Colbie Caillat will perform live auction.
Ferrari cites “Beyond Hunger: A Place at the Table,” as Heifer International’s pledge to the future through celebrating the success of women who have joined in helping other women achieve their dreams of hope, happiness, opportunity and prosperity.
“It begins with food security, income and assets, but the destination is equality, access, and, most of all, full participation,” Ferrari said.
Beyond Hunger co-host Diane Lane agrees, “Heifer International provides so many with a means and time-proven example of sustenance and dignity, by ending hunger and onwards to a more equitable abundance of opportunity.”
For Heifer International, women are the backbone of agriculture, and the key driver of food production and the numbers prove it. In developing regions, women farmers outnumber men. In Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia, 60 to 70 percent of farmers are women. Although these women own less than 1 percent of the Earth’s land, they produce a staggering 80 percent (80%) of the developing world’s food. Given the help, tools, training and the chance to build assets and income, Heifer International helps these women feed the world.
Heifer International gives gifts of livestock including cattle, sheep, rabbits, honeybees, pigs, llamas, water buffalo, chicks, ducks, goats, and geese as well as tree seedlings. Since 1944, animals and plants have been distributed in over 125 countries around the world. Each gift furthers Heifer’s interest in agroecology; the practice of sustainability and the environment.
Heifer International works to ensure that each animal will eventually help an entire community to become self-sustaining. Very important to the sustainable formula are the “Seven M” animals; goats, water buffalo and camels because they provide meat, milk, muscle, manure, money, materials and motivation.
To close the sustainable loop, participating Heifer International families are required to “Pass on the Gift.” Each family must give at least one of the female offspring to a neighbor who has also undergone Heifer’s training in animal husbandry. That neighbor must then also pass along one of the offspring of its animals to another family that has been trained by Heifer International. Founder Dan West’s “Give not a cup, but a cow” philosophy for “Passing on the Gift” set up what would become Heifer International sustainability model in 1942 with the gift of 17 heifers from York Pennsylvania to Puerto Rico.
The Heifer International dinner committee for “Beyond Hunger,” I made up comprised of Hollywood elite including: Ed Asner, Mehcad Brooks, Kim Cattrall, Ben Cohen, Malaak Compton-Rock, David Cross, Nina Dobrev & Ian Somerhalder, Kirsten Dunst, Mia Farrow, Ashley Greene, Jerry Greenfield, Adrian Grenier, Patricia Heaton & David Hunt, Kirsten & Jon Heder, Allison Janney, Ashley Judd, Christine Lahti & Thomas Schlamme, Anna Lappe, Frances Moore Lappe, Amy Madigan & Ed Harris, Eva Amurri Martino, Wendy & Barry Meyer, Dominic Monaghan, Susan Sarandon, Bobby Shriver, Serinda Swan, Amber Tamblyn and Keisha & Forest Whitaker.
Heifer International works with smallholder farmers in more than 40 countries, providing gifts of livestock and training to empower self-reliance and ensure nutritional and economic security. Heifer International has helped more than 15.5 million families or 79 million people pull themselves from from poverty to prosperity. Heifer project participant families are trained in eco-friendly agriculture and how to properly care for their livestock and living assets, to improve not only their lives, but their communities as well.
For more information, go to http://www.heifer.org/beyondhunger.