Jeff Bridges on finding his issue of ending world hunger

All of the sales from the downloads of the album go toward Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. I’ve been the national spokesperson for them for about five years now. That’s really important to me that that’s being funded. And it’s been funded to the extent of something like $200,000 dollars with the sales from this project. As you know, that’s all donations. People can pick it up for free, but the fact that people are inspired by what it’s really for and what it’s championing, that’s a great sign that our hearts are in the right place.

I’ve been involved in ending hunger for about 30 years now. It started out being concerned about world hunger, and we formed an organization called the End Hunger Network, which was made up of folks in the entertainment industry and folks that were involved in the media. Once I learned that what was keeping hunger in place wasn’t that we didn’t have enough food or money or not even that we didn’t know how to end it – everybody knows how to end it – but what’s missing is the political will to do it. Making it a priority.

In democratic societies our politicians are supposed to represent us, the individuals so it finally gets down to “What am I willing to do?” Now that I know the facts, am I going to ignore those and just go about my business, or am I gonna look into my own life and see what part I might play in turning that around? [I wanted to do that] rather than just making a gesture, like giving a few bucks to something and scratching my guilt itch, you know? That could actually be part of the problem, because the individual feels like they’re off the hook now, they’ve done their part, and the problem persists.

So I wondered, “What could I do that I could keep doing until the problem is solved?” The most natural thing seemed to be doing something like what I’m doing with you now, spreading the word. That’s what I do making movies: tell stories and spread the word about those stories.

Then about 20 years ago the End Hunger Network shifted its focus from world hunger to hunger here in the United States, because some of the programs that were [combating hunger] weren’t being properly funded. We couldn’t be telling other countries how to do it when we have one in five of our kids struggling with hunger. Then about five years ago I got in cahoots with Share Our Strength and their No Kid Hungry campaign.

– Jeff Bridges, in an interview with Aquarium Drunkard