Watch Viola Davis Open Up About Struggling with Childhood Hunger in Moving PSA

"Growing up, I was among the 1 in 5 American kids who struggled with hunger," Viola Davis reveals in the video


Viola Davis is ramping up her fight against childhood hunger.

The Suicide Squad actress, who grew up not always knowing where her next meal would come from, is now the ambassador for Hunger Is, a joint charitable initiative between the Albertsons Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation aimed at eradicating childhood hunger in America.

In a new PSA, Davis announces the project’s latest fundraising mission: to secure 5 million more breakfasts for children in need.

“Growing up, I was among the 1 in 5 American kids who struggled with hunger,” she reveals in the video. “And hungry mornings make tired days.”

Davis has already helped to raise over $12.5 million in the last three years through the organization.

The Emmy winner opened up about her personal struggle with hunger to PEOPLE in 2014. “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,” she said. “I would fall asleep in school on a daily basis because we had nothing.”

Speaking on the prevalence of hunger in America, Davis said, “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.”

Food programs like Hunger Is were instrumental in helping Davis achieve her dreams and goals. “I am the first generation of my family to go to college. Those programs made all the difference for me,” she said.

“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.”

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