Can you recognize Hunger?

I thought I could, until I had a conversation with the folks from the Second Harvest Food Bank. They told me that in the heart of Silicon Valley which houses dozens of billionaires – 1 in 3 children struggle with hunger.

It gets worse.

When summer vacation comes, those same kids are left without access to free/reduced meal programs from school.
Unfortunately, sob stories and sad photographs don’t really do well on social media, so we wanted to try a different approach. We decided to do a photoshoot that would highlight kids as heroes, on an epic quest to get food.

Forthese kids, getting access to a regular breakfast becomes Mission Impossible.

There was only one iconic scene that came to mind when I thought of an impossible mission – That of Tom Cruise dangling from the ceiling.
Suspending a kid from the cafeteria in Martha’s Kitchen wasn’t going to be possible, so we came up with a DIY solution instead featuring two strong men, a long metal pole and some galvanized cable.
Makeup artist Lien Delong teamed up with costume designer Jennifer Gonsalves and armor creator Posh Fairytale Couture to transform our ordinary kids into bite-sized heroes.
Sometimes they have no choice but to embark on treacherous climbs or dumpster dives, just to get access to fresh produce.

The most intrepid climbers to me are those who try to tackle Everest, so we decided to recreate the same by having Damian scale the side of Second Harvest’s very own commercial freezer.
Safety first though, meant that Damian was actually sitting on someone’s head rather than climbing, while I hung my camera precariously over the edge.

Every trip to the grocery store suddenly becomes a battle between an empty stomach and an empty wallet.

Knights ride horses to battle. Arteaga’s didn’t seem too keen on horses in their grocery store, so we opted instead for a shopping cart.


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Love the work of Ben Von Wong!