We’re proud to announce the members of the 26th Class of Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows, who gathered last week in Washington, D.C. to mark the start of their eleven-month fellowship together. These twenty-two individuals, each of whom have shown passion and dedication to ending hunger, are now relocating across the country to partner with community-based organizations for the next five months, working on projects to address hunger at the local level. This year’s collection of field site organizations includes food banks, food policy councils, advocacy organizations, and initiatives within institutes of higher education.
26th Class Field Placements
Meet the Members of the 26th Class
Raised in Midland, Michigan, Trish graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in interdisciplinary studies in public health with a minor in philosophy, and has served in AmeriCorps in Grand Rapids, Mich.
(Read more about Trish)
Trish will be placed with Hunger Free Colorado in Denver, Colo. Hunger Free Colorado leads efforts to connect families and individuals to food resources and fuel change in systems, policies, and social views, so no Coloradan goes hungry.
Alexa graduated from Miami University of Ohio with a degree in dietetics, and has served as an AmeriCorps FoodCorps service member in Washington, D.C., where she taught lessons on gardening and nutrition to elementary school students.
(Read more about Alexa).
Alexa will be placed with Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council in Cincinnati, Ohio. The mission of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council is to advance a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food system for all within Greater Cincinnati’s ten-county region through policy, systems, and environment change.
Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, Mariama graduated with honors in community health education and a minor in public policy from Hunter College, and has worked to advance education access in her immigrant community.
(Read more about Mariama).
Mariama will be placed with Pittsburgh Food Policy Council in Pittsburgh, Pa. The Pittsburgh Food Policy Council uses the Collective Impact model to bring together stakeholders from across the food system to examine, develop, and improve the food system of the region.
From Corpus Christi, Texas, Analicia has studied at the University of Texas at El Paso, as well as serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the Texas Hunger Initiative and working as a policy aide for the Texas State Legislature.
(Read more about Analicia).
Analicia will be placed with the Houston Food Bank in Houston, Texas. America’s largest and nationally recognized as Feeding America’s Food Bank of the Year in 2015, the Food Bank distributes 104 million nutritious meals through its network of 1,500 community partners in southeast Texas, feeding 800,000 individuals each year.
From Grenada, Miss., Jarvis graduated with honors from University of Mississippi with degrees in International Studies and Spanish, as well as serving as president of the Black Student Union, and as an AmeriCorps VISTA in New Albany, Miss.
(Read more about Jarvis).
Jarvis will be placed with Alabama Possible in Birmingham, Ala. Alabama Possible is a statewide nonprofit organization that removes barriers to prosperity in Alabama through education, collaboration, and advocacy, and whose research-driven work is designed to broaden relationships and enhance capacity building, with a focus on addressing systemic poverty.
A native of Rochester, N.Y. and a Harry S. Truman Scholar, Madelaine graduated from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) School of Architecture and Planning, and has worked as a city planner for the City of New York.
(Read more about Madelaine).
Madelaine will be placed with Feeding America in Chicago, Ill. Feeding America’s mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage the country in the fight to end hunger. What began in 1979 as a clearinghouse for national food donations is now the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, a powerful and efficient network of 200 food banks across the country.
Originally from West Orange, N.J., Esther graduated with honors from Boston University with a degree in health science and a minor in sociology, and has worked as a patient advocate for low-income and minority families at Boston Medical Center.
(Read more about Esther).
Esther will be placed with Just Harvest in Pittsburgh, Pa. Just Harvest is a nonprofit organization that reduces hunger through sustainable, long-term approaches that lift up those in need, getting at the root causes of hunger by using public policy and programs to reduce poverty and improve food access.
Born in Sudan and raised in Philadelphia, Methany graduated with honors from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor’s degree in sociology and nutriton, having served in board positions on the United Minorities Council, Black Student Association, African American Arts Alliance, and the Muslim Student Association.
(Read more about Methany).
Methany will be placed with Community Food Bank of Central Alabama in Birmingham, Ala. Community Food Bank supplies millions of meals per year to over 230 food pantries, shelters, and children’s programs in 12 counties in Central Alabama, and incubates social enterprises that promote nutrition, prevents wholesome food from going to waste, and tests new initiatives that go beyond charity to create healthy food access for all.
Interested in the intersections between poverty, food justice, and environmentalism, Rachel graduated from Vanderbilt University with a double major in environmental sociology and community leadership and development.
(Read more about Rachel).
Rachel will be placed with Hunger Free Colorado in Denver, Colo. Hunger Free Colorado leads efforts to connect families and individuals to food resources and fuel change in systems, policies and social views, so no Coloradan goes hungry.
Caroline graduated with Phi Betta Kappa and honors from Wellesley College with a degree in environmental studies and jazz & world music, and has worked with food justice nonprofits in Maine and Washington, D.C.
(Read more about Caroline).
Caroline will be placed with Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council in Cincinnati, Ohio. The mission of the Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council is to advance a healthy, equitable, and sustainable food system for all within Greater Cincinnati’s ten-county region through policy, systems, and environment change.
Cassandra graduated with distinction from the University of Michigan with a degree in community and global public health. She has also worked as a research assistant with the Ford Policy School, and is interested in pursuing a career as a city planner.
(Read more about Cassandra).
Cassandra will be placed with the University at Buffalo Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab in Buffalo, N.Y. The lab is dedicated to research that critically examines the role of local government policy in facilitating equitable, healthy, and sustainable communities, with a special focus on food systems as a space and lever for creating positive change.
Chloe graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with degrees in dietetics and community & environmental sociology, and received a Wisconsin Idea Fellowship to study accessibility at farmers markets for underserved communities across the state.
(Read more about Chloe).
Chloe will be placed with the L.A. Food Policy Council in Los Angeles, Calif., which works to create a local food system free from hunger, rooted in equity and access, supportive of farmers and food workers, and guided by principles of environmental stewardship and regeneration.
(Read more about the L.A. Food Policy Council)
Sebastian graduated from Stanford University with a degree in public policy, and has worked with local government in San Diego to address issues of poverty and social justice in the community.
(Read more about Sebastian).
Sebastian will be placed with the Welcome Home Coalition in Portland, Ore., a diverse coalition that advances housing policies through community education, research, and advocacy to ensure that everyone has a safe and stable place to call home.
Sofia graduated from with honors in public health and a certificate in community-based research from American University, has completed health policy internships and research on Capitol Hill, and worked with the MEANS database to reduce food waste in El Paso, Texas.
(Read more about Sofia).
Sofia will be placed with Western Center on Law and Poverty in Los Angeles, Calif. For over five decades, Western Center has advocated on behalf of Californians experiencing poverty in every branch of government, from the courts to the Legislature—litigating, education, and advocating around health care, housing, and public benefits policies and administration.
Emily Hwang graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, earning a degree in anthropology with a concentration in Latin American studies, and has served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with Emerson Program partner Just Harvest in Pittsburgh.
(Read more about Emily).
Emily will be placed with Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative in Fayetteville, Ark. The Initiative enhances health and wellness in tribal communities by advancing healthy food systems, diversified economic development, and cultural food traditions in Indian Country.
Margaux attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in health policy and management and minored in social and economic justice, and was involved in the Student Health Action Coalition and the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention.
(Read more about Margaux).
Margaux will be placed with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee in Nashville, Tenn. Second Harvest works to feed hungry people and solve hunger issues, with a network of over 490 partner agencies throughout its 46-county service area in Middle and West Tennessee, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers, group homes and youth enrichment programs.
Riley Link graduated from Rutgers University – New Brunswick with a major in public health and minors in economics and Spanish. She recently bicycled 3,500 miles across the United States to raise funds for a community nonprofit in New Jersey.
(Read more about Riley).
Riley will be placed with Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon in Portland, Ore., which raises awareness about hunger, connects people to nutrition programs, and advocates for systemic changes to bring about an Oregon where everyone is healthy and thriving, with access to affordable, nutritious and culturally appropriate food.
Anne Marie studied history, peace studies, and Spanish with a minor in Latin American studies at Whitworth University in Spokane, Wash. She is an alum of FoodCorps, and spent a year teaching English in Bogotá, Colombia as a Fulbright Scholar.
(Read more about Anne Marie).
Anne Marie will be placed with the Native American Agriculture Fund in Fayetteville, Ark. The fund provides grants to eligible organizations for business assistance, agricultural education, technical support, and advocacy services to support Native farmers and ranchers, and is the largest philanthropic organization devoted solely to serving the Native American farming and ranching community.
Megan graduated from Davidson College in Davidson, N.C., with a degree in political science, and has completed internships with the US-Asia Institute and the American Chambers of Commerce in Vietnam.
(Read more about Megan).
Megan will be placed with the University at Buffalo Food Systems Planning and Healthy Communities Lab in Buffalo, N.Y. The lab is dedicated to research that critically examines the role of local government policy in facilitating equitable, healthy, and sustainable communities, with a special focus on food systems as a space and lever for creating positive change.
Heather Street graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in cellular biology and women’s studies, and was a Senior Hunger AmeriCorps VISTA with the Athens (Ga.) Community Council on Aging.
(Read more about Heather).
Heather will be placed with the Houston Food Bank in Houston, Texas. America’s largest and nationally recognized as Feeding America’s Food Bank of the Year in 2015, the Food Bank distributes 104 million nutritious meals through its network of 1,500 community partners in southeast Texas, feeding 800,000 individuals each year.
Originally from Boston, Mass., Sean graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and studied nutrition and anthropology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and has worked as a consultant to the UN World Food Programme.
(Read more about Sean).
Sean will be placed with the Illinois Hunger Coalition in Chicago, Ill., the only statewide membership organization in Illinois that works to end hunger and address the underlying causes by working for a deeper and more transformative approach to economic and racial justice.
Emma attended Southern Nazarene University in Oklahoma City, where she developed her passion for economic justice, specifically as it pertains to rural and isolated food inequity, and where she served as the Community Initiatives Administrative Coordinator at the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma.
(Read more about Emma).
Emma will be placed with Second Harvest Food Bank of Middle Tennessee in Nashville, Tenn. Second Harvest works to feed hungry people and solve hunger issues, with a network of over 490 partner agencies throughout its 46-county service area in Middle and West Tennessee, including food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, senior centers, group homes and youth enrichment programs.
Before embarking for their field sites, the 26th Class underwent a comprehensive orientation and field training, led by Hunger Center staff and content experts. Topics discussed ranged from federal nutrition programs and a history of the anti-hunger movement, to developing personal leadership and communication skills.
Special thanks to USDA, C&S Wholesale Grocers, The General Mills Foundation, The Kroger Co. Foundation, PepsiCo, and Tyson Foods for their support of the Emerson National Hunger Fellowship Program.