Frequently Asked Questions


#HCWvsHunger is short for Healthcare Workers versus Hunger. It is the social media hashtag for a yearly friendly competition between health care workers that started in December 2020 to help relieve food insecurity during the pandemic. Read more about the history of #HCWvsHunger on our About Us page.

The 2023 contest will begin on Monday, November 27th at 12:00 a.m. and end on Sunday, December 3rd at 12 p.m. EST

Yes! We plan to do the #HCWvsHunger contest every year. Though the precise dates for 2024 have not yet been chosen, the contest will likely be late November to early December each year.

If you’re interested in helping us, please email us at or fill out this Google Form. Please also follow us on Twitter @HCWvsHunger!

Visit our Bonfire page. The proceeds from your purchase will go to Action Against Hunger, and you’ll get to show off your #HCWvsHunger pride! For more colors, visit our second page that benefits World Central Kitchen.


Identify a local, national, or international food bank or hunger organization of your choice. Donate whatever you can afford. Screenshot your receipt. That’s it. Simple. If you want to identify a food bank in your area, Feeding America has a helpful food bank locator.

Go here after you make your donation to notify us and select the team on whose behalf you are donating. This will ensure that your donation is accurately counted and applied to the correct team, and it will also update on the leaderboard.

The online #HCWvsHunger contest is meant to spur healthy competition between teams organized by health care workers with a goal of maximizing contributions to food banks. When you screenshot your receipt and share it, you choose which team you’d like your food bank donation to count for.

We don’t. Donors are free to donate to any food bank they wish. Some people donate to food banks where they live, where they grew up, where they vacation, or in another needy area as a way of giving back to their communities. Others choose to donate to more centralized organizations fighting hunger. The Feeding America website has resources to identify places to donate:

Nope. None of the money you donate goes to #HCWvsHunger. In fact, none of the money you donate ever passes through #HCWvsHunger’s hands. This is a social-media based campaign, not an organization, and everyone involved is an unpaid volunteer.

We would prefer that you submit a receipt as proof of donation to help us ensure that the contest is fair and the results are accurate. Donations <$500 do not require a receipt but you may submit one if you would like. Take a screenshot of your receipt and upload that with your form when you report your donation.

Yes! Most food banks and hunger organizations will email you a receipt. Please screenshot that if you have it. If you still don’t have your receipt, you can still complete the form reporting the amount. We trust you.

No. Most food banks and hunger charities will already mask your credit card number in part or in full on the receipt. You are welcome to omit or mask any personal information you wish when submitting the receipt. We would encourage you to mask any financial information or leave it out of your screenshot.

By all means, please do! Though we hope you will donate during the official #HCWvsHunger contest because it’s great to compete for a good cause during the holiday season, food insecurity affects billions of people worldwide year-round. We stop formally tabulating donations made on behalf of teams when the contest ends, but your generosity will continue to count where it matters most.

Unfortunately, the official contest time frame (November 27-December 3) is the only time in which donations will count in the #HCWvsHunger 2023 contest. However, feel happy that you contributed to an important cause!

Answer: We encourage you to take advantage of donor matches that your employer or even food banks themselves may offer. If your donation is matched, please log the total amount of the donation, including any matching amount, as a single entry. Do not log a duplicate entry for the matching amount. If you have accidentally submitted a duplicate donation for matching purposes or forgotten to enter the matched amount, please send us a direct message on Twitter (@HCWvsHunger) or email us at to ensure we have the correct total for your donation.


Nope. The contest was started by healthcare workers, but anyone who is motivated to help us relieve human hunger is welcome to donate or start a team.

Many of our teams are organized by medical subspecialty or type of healthcare worker. For example, in our 2020 #HCWvsHunger contest, we had teams of medical students, nurses, pharmacists, oncologists, surgeons, pediatricians, and more. If you are a healthcare worker, you might choose to donate on behalf of a team that aligns with your role in health care or your specialty. If you aren’t a healthcare worker, you might choose to donate on behalf of a team that has been important to your own medical care. For example, cancer survivors might choose to donate to an oncology team, or someone who recently had a baby might choose to donate to a team of obstetricians or pediatricians. You can also just choose to donate to a team whose name you like. Some of them are pretty amusing. It’s totally up to you. We just want to relieve human hunger and have fun encouraging others to join us.

You can still report your contribution to the contest. Just choose the undesignated option (Isla of Misfit Toys) at the bottom of the dropdown menu of teams here. Your donation will be counted in the #HCWvsHunger overall tally.

If you want to create your own team, you must complete this quick form.You will need to provide your team name, the name of a team captain, and a brief description of your team to be included on the website.

In our past contests, some teams found it fun to merge towards the end to try to move up on the team leaderboard. We are in full support of healthy competition in the fight to relieve hunger! Because our system for keeping track of team scores and updating the leaderboard depends upon having the correct teams listed, we allow team mergers until approximately 48 hours before the end of the contest. To merge two or more teams, the team captains of all involved teams must notify us of your intention to merge in a group email or DM, indicate the new team name, and wait to receive acknowledgement from or the @HCWvsHunger Twitter account with an updated listing on the website before you publicly announce your merged team. This is necessary to ensure that no donation records get lost in the merger process and that donors are able to locate the merged team when they wish to contribute.

The winning team will receive a year of bragging rights and a crystal apple engraved with #HCWvsHunger, the competition year, and your team name that is appropriate for display. Because it requires time to personalize, it will be delivered by mail to the team leader listed on the form within 4 weeks of the end of the contest. More importantly, all of the teams will win the sense of deep gratitude that accompanies helping someone who will likely never be able to repay you.

New teams may be registered up until 48 hours before the contest ends. Please complete this form and wait to announce your team on social media until it has appeared on the list of teams at