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Official poster of the "No Kid Hungry" campaign.
Official poster of the "No Kid Hungry" campaign.

'No Kid Hungry,' the project from two Latino muralists to end child hunger

Latino artists Steve Martinez and John P. Dessereau are behind the "No Kid Hungry" campaign to fight childhood hunger.

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As part of the No Kid Hungry campaign, an initiative created to raise awareness of children's nutritional needs as the centerpiece of pandemic recovery, Latino artists Steve Martinez and John P. Dessereau were announced on Wednesday, Sept. 8 as participants in the campaign.

Of the five artists selected for the "Rebuilding" initiative, the two Latinos were chosen by No Kid Hungry to each create a piece.

No Kid Hungry collaborates with artists from five communities to create murals inspired by local children and their vision for a better future. In this framework, fine artist, muralist, photographer and graphic designer Steve Martinez and illustrator and fine artist John P. Dessereau will lend their talents to showcase the Latino communities in Los Angeles and New York.

The Latino community as a whole has been affected disproportionately in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic nationwide. It is estimated that 39% of Latino families with children go hungry, while only 15% of white families go hungry, the non-governmental organization said in a statement.

Martínez is a Los Angeles muralist of Guatemalan origin. For the project, he was inspired by local children with whom he spoke personally and captured the feeling of confinement that overwhelms these children who say they are "bored of being trapped in the house" and want to go out and play. His mural is located on Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, California, and shows a group of children running free in the sun.

On the other side of the country, Puerto Rican born-artist Dessereau created a mural located at Citi Field in Queens, New York.

"After talking to the young people, I had two conclusions. They feel they want to get out of the darkness of the pandemic. And they see a bridge as a powerful metaphor to get out of these dark times. My mural proposal is a montage of all these entities," the artist said.

The project continues to help obtain food, support and equipment needed to feed children and overcome the effects of the social and economic crisis due to the pandemic. Similarly, the murals also served as inspiration for a series of micro-documentaries about life for local families and children in the aftermath of the pandemic and how schools and community groups have redoubled their efforts to feed their communities in times of crisis.

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