The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program develops effective leaders with a deep understanding of hunger and poverty at both the local and national level that enables them to find innovative solutions and create the political will to end hunger.
“The program links policy to practice, theory to reality, and statistics to individual faces.”
– Elizabeth Whelan: 2004 Emerson Fellow, 10th class
Each year, 16-20 participants are selected from around the country for this year long program. They gather in Washington, D.C. in August for a comprehensive orientation and field training, where they learn about hunger, poverty and social inequality in the United States, the local and national programs designed to address the issues, and the various approaches to social change.
Emerson Fellows are placed for the first five months with community-based organizations all over the country. Each host organization identifies specific goals and outcomes for the Fellows and provides the supervision and resources necessary to accomplish them. Field site partner organizations include:
In mid-February, the Fellows regroup in Washington, D.C. to debrief and share their field experiences and participate in an extensive policy training to learn about national anti-hunger and anti-poverty policy work.
Fellows then work in nonprofit organizations and government agencies working on hunger and poverty policies at the national level. During their time in D.C., Fellows complete research, outreach, advocacy, and public education projects that support national policy initiatives. They also meet regularly for professional development trainings.
CHC recruits thoughtful individuals who are committed to social justice and anti-racism, enthusiastic about participating in the fellowship community, and easily able to adjust to new situations. Applicants should have some experience with anti-hunger or anti-poverty work.
Fellows receive a financial package and housing support during the course of the Fellowship. Upon completion, Fellows receive an end of service award and become part of the Emerson Hunger Fellows alumni community and professional network.
“Fellows have always been hardworking, creative, flexible and willing to go the extra mile.”
— Michael Stoops: National Coalition for the Homeless
Fellows are placed with community based organizations around the country fighting hunger at the local level, such as grassroots organizing groups, advocacy agencies, food banks, and local service providers. In Washington, D.C. they are placed with national policy organizations (advocacy groups, think tanks, and government agencies).
Fellows support partner organizations with program development, research, evaluation, outreach, organizing, and advocacy projects. Past field and policy placements have addressed the following issues: