Watch Viola Davis’ Emotional Speech About Childhood Poverty

TIME

Viola Davis, the star of the new ABC drama How to Get Away With Murder, delivered a powerful speech Friday at Variety’s 2014 Power of Women luncheon, telling an audience that she’s driven to end childhood hunger by memories of “abject poverty” in her own life.

“I stole for food, I jumped in huge garbage bins with maggots for food,” said Davis. “I didn’t join the hunger is campaign to save the world. I set out to save myself.”

She was recognized at a luncheon along with Jane Fonda, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lopez for humanitarian efforts, the Associated Press reports.

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