Should you need a reminder of Viola Davis’ awesomeness, we humbly direct your attention to her work with the Hunger Is campaign, a fundraising effort created with backing from the Safeway Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation, to fight child hunger. It’s a cause that hits close to home for Davis, who grew up in the hardscrabble town of Central Falls, R.I., where the growling of her young stomach was a familiar sound.
“I was one of those kids who grew up hungry. I’m 48 years old now, and it’s only been recently that I can admit that I would jump in trash bins looking for food and I would steal from the corner store because I was hungry. I would fall asleep in school on a daily basis because we had nothing,” the actress tells People.
Home was no respite, either. “My house was a condemned building – it was boarded up and infested with rats,” she says.
“We have an image of hunger that comes from Africa, but this is America. And unless your belly is distended we don’t have an image of what hunger looks like here.”
Davis credits programs like Hunger Is with giving her opportunities to survive — and succeed — she otherwise would not have had. “I am the first generation of my family to go to college. Those programs made all the difference for me,” she says. “It’s been cathartic for me because I always had a lot of shame with going in the garbage dumps that had maggots in it, too. It has brought healing in my life to be able to talk about it.”
Visit the Hunger Is website to find out how you can help.
SOURCE: MSN Entertainment