The Hunger Leadership Awards is our annual celebration of outstanding leaders in the movement to end hunger. For this year’s virtual ceremony, held Wednesday, September 16, we are recognizing leaders who prove every day that Hunger is Solvable. The recipient of our 2020 Hunger Fellow Alum Award is Matt Newell-Ching, an alum of the 8th Class of Emerson National Hunger Fellows (’01-’02). We have selected Matt for this award because of his outstanding dedication to the fight against hunger, including his leadership advocating for the passage of the Hunger-Free Schools provision, helping to establish universal access to school meals for thousands of students in the state of Oregon, reduce the stigma of school meals, and promote student’s overall academic achievement. Matt is a model for the leadership we hope all Hunger Fellows will go on to emulate throughout their careers.
Since participating in the Emerson Fellowship in 2001, Matt Newell-Ching has devoted the last 19 years to the fight against hunger and injustice. While at Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, Matt led the campaign for the biggest expansion in access to school meals in the United States as part of Oregon’s landmark 2019 Student Success Act. While at Hunger-Free Oregon, Matt co-created coalitions to expand Oregon’s Earned Income Tax Credit, strengthen the WIC program, and defend against harmful budget cut proposal. Matt draws from experience as a grassroots organizer and policy analyst on issues relating to hunger, homelessness, global health, and international development. He has worked at organizations including Bread for the World, Feeding America, Sojourners, the Hunger Task Force of Milwaukee, and the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Matt is currently the Public Policy Manager at Oregon Food Bank, and lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Megan, two kids, and their large but well-meaning pandemic puppy.
The only way for us to solve hunger is if all of us find the resolve to get up every day and fight for it, and demand it, and say that, "Yes, this is the world we want to live in." If enough of us do that, we can. It's not inevitable that we will, but it's achievable if all of us make it a priority.Matt Newell-Ching, 2020 Hunger Fellow Alum Award Recipient