This spring semester, the Congressional Hunger Center (CHC) is launching the Zero Hunger Initiative, a new collaboration with with the Corella & Bertram F. Bonner Foundation. Participants in the Bonner Program at college campuses across the United States will be able to take part in several leadership development opportunities that draw on CHC’s decades of experience as a source of credible, practical information on ending hunger and developing leaders.
“We are truly excited to be working with the Congressional Hunger Center on this initiative,” said Robert Hackett, president of the Bonner Foundation. “We see this initiative, combining CHC’s decades of expertise and thought leadership with our network of diverse, service-oriented students, as a terrific opportunity to develop the leadership and advocacy potential of Bonners while addressing hunger in their campus communities.”
CHC’s Executive Director Shannon Maynard concurred. “The Bonner Foundation’s network of schools and students already are contributing significantly to local food security programs in their campus community through volunteer service. Our goal is to help this powerful network learn more about hunger and its root causes and take actions to influence the public policies that can lead to a hunger-free world.”
Beginning in February, Bonner Scholars at college campuses across the country will be able to enroll in CHC’s Zero Hunger Academy. This collection of four online learning modules is adapted from the intensive domestic food security curriculum followed by the Emerson National Hunger Fellows program and will provide the Bonner Scholars with knowledge of current issues in hunger and poverty, as well as their root causes.
Later in February, four campuses will be chosen for the pilot year of the CHC Zero Hunger Campus Network. Participating schools and students will connect with CHC through webinars, in-person trainings, connections with Hunger Fellow alums, and excursions to Washington, D.C. to develop their skills as advocates for effective local anti-hunger policies. Each group of Bonner Scholars will produce a Hunger Free Community Report for their campus and the surrounding community, discussing ways local stakeholders can work together to address food insecurity.
The third component of the initiative, the CHC Zero Hunger Summer Internship Program, will launch later this year. This program will see a cohort of 5-10 Bonner Leaders come to Washington, D.C. to gain advocacy experience and develop their leadership skills. CHC will administer this summer program, matching Bonner Scholars with placements at D.C. anti-hunger organizations and hosting bi-weekly professional development seminars.
Members of the Bonner network interested in applying for any or all of these new initiatives will find more information here.
The Bonner Program, founded in 1990, is the largest privately-funded service-based college scholarship program in the country. Each year the private and public campuses that make up the Bonner Network recruit a cohort of new students with high financial need and a demonstrated ethic of community service. These students receive four years of financial aid support as well as a four-year framework for personal development rooted in service to their community. More than 3,000 students participate in the Bonner Program annually at 65 public and private colleges and universities across the country.