The Congressional Hunger Center‘s 2015 Awards Ceremony, June 3rd at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington, D.C., recognized five outstanding leaders in the fight against domestic and global hunger.
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-OH), receiving the Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Hunger Leadership Award, remarked “Poverty is no more going to be silent…We have to act, because children’s lives depend on our action.”
Receiving the Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Emerging Hunger Leader award was Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS), who, with Rep. James P. McGovern (D-MA) re-launched the House Hunger Caucus last March. “As part of this Caucus,” said Jenkins, “I hope to work with my colleague Mr. McGovern to…collaborate on ideas and research for programs that can benefit the hungry here at home and around the globe.”
The CHC Board Appreciation Award was presented to USDA Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services Kevin Concannon, who had just returned from promoting child nutrition programs in a classroom visit in West Virginia.
Receiving a CHC Alumni Leadership Award was Christine Tran, a doctoral student at the University of Washington. “I would not be here today without a lot of the social policies,” she said, referring to WIC, the Free School Lunch Program, and Head Start. As an Emerson National Hunger Fellow, she evaluated school lunch programs in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and her current research explores issues of school nutrition equity and policy implementation.
Giselle Aris, Practice Area Manager for Enterprise Acceleration and Technology at Land O’Lakes International Development, also received a CHC Alumni Leadership Award. The Leland International Hunger Fellow alumna urged attendees to “consider what you do each day to wait less and act more.” Aris’ fellowship work focused on improvements in gender equality in the dairy supply chain in Tanzania and Zimbabwe.
The Awards Ceremony was attended by more than 300 members of the national and international anti-hunger community, including leaders from government, NGOs, business, and philanthropy.
The importance of working in partnership against hunger was emphasized throughout the ceremony. “We as a country can do more,” observed Under Secretary Concannon, “but we rely upon partnerships in doing it.”
At the close of the Ceremony, CHC Board Chair Rep. McGovern gave special recognition to Executive Director Edward M. Cooney, who will retire in September after 14 years of leading CHC. Citing their history of working in collaboration on anti-hunger policy and legislation, McGovern remarked “Ed not only knows this stuff, but he feels this stuff.”