What’s in an acronym? Usually neither the acronym itself, nor the upper case words that form it, provides a true understanding of what the abbreviation means. I just returned from a few days in
ANSA was born out of the AIDS crisis in the
This outreach of compassion and care didn’t start as a government program or an organized national response to a public health crisis. Rather, it began in individual home kitchens, in church basements, and in abandoned restaurants. One person would make a meal or two and deliver them to a friend or neighbor with HIV/AIDS. Soon, there would be more people with the disease, and more meals being cooked and delivered, and more and more volunteers helping to prepare those meals. And around the country, these efforts became known by names that reflected the service they were providing to people with HIV/AIDS in their communities. In
In city after city, community members invested their time, energy, and resources to ensure that no one with HIV/AIDS would go hungry. Fifteen years ago, representatives from a handful of these pioneering agencies got together in
Initially, ANSA convened an annual conference where workshops on nutrition, volunteerism, program creation, and development were discussed. At a time when few corporations were funding HIV/AIDS, ANSA served as a conduit for millions of dollars in funding from Philip Morris and Altria. Innovative ANSA members around the country began expanding their missions to do even more in their cities – to incorporate other disease populations and services into their programs. Seeing the global impact of HIV/AIDS in the developing world, ANSA launched an international program which now supports work in
ANSA is more than an acronym. It is an association of people, now from around the world, whose “true north” as ANSA director Frank Abdale says, “is a conviction that no one who is ill should go hungry.”
For more information on ANSA, visit www.ansanutrition.org.