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Valerie Harper believed that the key to enacting change was a bold commitment to optimism, action and humility and brought that same commitment and powerful voice to the work of The Hunger Project over the years, embodying the mission to end hunger and poverty in so many ways. In 2007, Valerie told AARP Magazine, “The real issue holding hunger in place is the subjugation, marginalization, and disempowerment of women. Wherever you have abject hunger, you will see low status of women. But when there are resources in the hands of women, the kids eat.”Valerie was an inspiration to many and her legacy will live on in the hearts of the thousands of people that connected with her through The Hunger Project. In 2013, a circle of 15 friends of Valerie created The Valerie Harper Women’s Leadership Fund and grew it to $200,000 with investments from over 90 people who love her and shared her commitment to a world free from hunger. This fund was used to empower women through The Hunger Project.

Hunger Project activist and award-winning actress Judith Light introduces the Valerie Harper Women Leaders Fund Tribute and reads a message from Valerie herself to the 500 guests from over 20 countries at the Annual Fall Gala in New York, NY on October 5, 2013. Valerie Harper was unable to attend the event due to rehearsals for “Dancing with the Stars.”