March 24, 2016

Dear Friend of the Hunger Center,

Spring is abuzz at the Congressional Hunger Center. We hope you enjoy this brief update, which includes news from our fellowship programs, alumni updates, important policy opportunities, and a variety of ways you can get involved with the Hunger Center, from sponsoring the 2016 Awards Ceremony or nominating someone for our Alumni Awards to collecting new and gently used items for our Professional Clothing Closet
Thank you for being part of the Hunger Center community. Our fellows, alumni, donors, volunteers, and partner organizations are all vital contributors to our success in fighting hunger by developing leaders.
In service,
The 22nd Class of Emerson Hunger Fellows
Emerson National Hunger Fellows
After completing their field placements in February, the 22nd Class of Fellows reconvened in Washington, D.C. for their policy training. Fellows debriefed their field experiences; learned together about policy from alumni, trainers, and each other; participated in the National Anti-Hunger Policy Conference; and presented their Hunger Free Community Reports to CHC stakeholders and Members of Congress. Featured HFCR: Andy Kim completed a community food assessment of a neighborhood in Denver for Colorado Hunger Solutions.

The Fellows began their placements with a great group of policy organizations in early March. We have six new policy host organizations this year, including the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Farmworker Justice, and National LGBTQ Task Force. Full list of sites here.
Now Recruiting for 2017 Field Placements
Are you interested in hosting an Emerson Fellow at your organization from August 2016-February 2017? Apply now. The application deadline is April 19, 2016. Learn more about the benefits of hosting a fellow here. We’d also welcome your suggestions for groups we should consider. Terrific field sites work on hunger, poverty and racial inequality, prioritize people most affected by the problems, and contribute to the field in innovative ways. They also have supervisors who provide guidance, mentoring, and a supportive environment. Contact Jon Wogman with suggestions, and thanks!
Leland Hunger Fellow Carlo
Abuyuan in Mkushi, Zambia
Leland International Hunger Fellows
The current class of Leland Fellows have been at their field placements for five full months, and Leland Co-Directors are in the midst of visiting each fellow at his or her site. One of the key features of CHC’s fellowship programs is the close mentoring relationship between each fellow and his or her staff adviser, and these visits provide program staff valuable insight into each fellow’s day-to-day work and give time for intensive communication, advising and troubleshooting. The staff visited six fellows this quarter: Meghan Anson with Concern Worldwide and Jennie Lane with Land O’Lakes in Lilongwe, Malawi; Caitlin Shaw with PCI in Zomba, Malawi; Carlo Abuyuan with FHI 360 in Mkushi, Zambia; Michelle DeFreese at the iAGRI project in Morogoro, Tanzania; and Harley Stokes with CRS in Baucau, Timor-Leste. Click on their names for more information on their placements and work.
CHC Board Member and Leland Fellowship
Alumna Damiana Astudillo (left) with 2015
Leland Fellow Alumni Awardee Giselle Aris
Seeking Nominations for 2016 Alumni Awards
CHC is pleased to announce that the 7th annual CHC Emerson and Leland Alumni Leadership Awards will be presented on Wednesday, June 15, 2016, at our annual CHC Awards Ceremony at the US Botanic Gardens in Washington, DC One alum from each of CHC’s fellowship programs will receive the award. Do you know a Hunger Fellow worthy of recognition?  Nominate them today by completing this brief online form.  The deadline for nominations is Monday, April 18, 2016. Honorees will be selected based on the following criteria:
  • Proven leadership in the development of programs or policies that promote social justice, reduce poverty and oppression, and/or improve food security
  • Collaboration with communities experiencing hunger and poverty
  • Contributions to the broader Hunger Fellow network and community through support of CHC’s ongoing leadership development efforts (e.g. mentoring, training, recruiting, and/or supervising subsequent classes of fellows).
Check out the acceptance speeches of the 2015 CHC Alumni Award recipients Emerson alumna Christine Tran and Leland alumna Giselle Aris.  Other past recipients have included: Ashley Aakesson, Damiana Astudillo, Lindsey R. Baker, Kate Bolz, Anne-Claire Hervy, Carmen Jaquez, Tammy Palmer, Shane Murphy Goldsmith, Javier Silva, and Richard H. Stolz.
Emerson Alumni Leila Malow (21st class), Shannon Maynard (4th Class and CHC Executive Director), Chad Struck (4th Class), Maryon Olson (9th Class), and Alexis Bylander (11th Class) in Minneapolis for dinner and discussion on strengthening CHC’s alumni network.
Roundtables and Receptions in DC, Chicago, and Minneapolis
Thanks to all the Hunger Fellow alumni who attended or helped organize CHC’s recent receptions and alumni roundtables in Washington, DC, Chicago, and Minneapolis. We value the input you’ve provided on ways to better engage alumni and CHC’s strategy moving forward. In the month of April, we hope to visit NYC, Austin, TX, and the West Coast and meet with more alumni. Stay tuned for details.
Comings & Goings
  • Emerson alum Halley Torres Aldeen (2nd class), based in Chicago, is now leading the research team for the Food Security Genome Project, an anti-hunger partnership designed to create standardized measurements to predict the effectiveness of programs designed to improve household food security.
  • Emerson alum Patience Butler Peabody (10th class) has recently left her position as VP, Communications, at LIFT to serve as the Director of Communications at the DC Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), where she will join the executive team of the Superintendent and head internal and external communications and community engagement activities for the $1.2B agency that oversees early childhood development, adult education, transportation, standardized testing and performance for the school system.
  • Emerson alum Theo Gibbs (18th class) is leaving Stanford ChangeLabs to co-found a new venture called Blue Heart Labs, focused on tackling the root causes of climate displacement.  If you have colleagues or contacts who have expertise or interest in the issue of climate displacement, and who you think would be excited to speak with a team of creative, dedicated entrepreneurs, please email Theo.
  • Congratulations to Emerson alum Jeremiah Lowery (19th class) for his recent appointment to the DC Food Policy Council, which was formed to monitor regulatory barriers to the development of a local food economy, including barriers to the operations of farmers markets, existing food assets in the local food economy, and job creation potential in the local food economy.
  • Emerson alum Maryam Adamu (20th class) appeared on NPR in a piece about life as a Muslim in America.
  • Emerson alum Sydney Fang (20th class) is leading communications strategy at Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). She is also a fellow for the Boards and Commissions Leadership Institute, which trains progressive leaders how to advance an equity agenda on local boards and commissions and was recently accepted into the LeftRoots National General Baker Boot Camp, a national formation of social movement organizers and activists who want to connect grassroots struggles to a strategy to win liberation for all people and the planet.
  • Emerson alum Tyler Mac Innis (20th class) authored a number of publications building the case for why Oregon should raise its minimum wage. His work was cited by legislators who voted to increase Oregon's minimum wage to $14.75 in Portland, $12.50 in rural Oregon and $13.50 in the rest of the state by 2022.
  • Emerson alum Tadeo Melean (20th class) was accepted into the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration doctoral social work program and will begin courses this fall.
  • Emerson alum Laura Renaud (20th class) graduated from the University of Michigan School of Social Work with her masters. She's currently working as a care coordinator with Meridian Health Plan helping connect Medicaid members to needed services like health care and housing. She also recently got married and has two baby cats that she's trying to raise up right.
  • Emerson alum Adrien Schless-Meier (20th class) co-authored a piece in The American Prospect that examines how funding cuts to the U.S. Census could undercount minorities and the poor, thereby reducing their share of federal aid.
  • Emerson alum Yuqi Wang (20th class) is working as an evaluator with the Innovation Network evaluating advocacy projects and campaigns on topics including mass incarceration, poverty and Healthy Eating, Active Living initiatives. She is also the vice president of communications for OCA-DC, an AAPI cultural and advocacy group in DC and organizing efforts in DC on inclusionary zoning and rent control.
  • Emerson alum Leila Malow (21st class) recently joined the office of Minnesota State Senate President Sandy Pappas as a legislative assistant.
  • Leland Alum Elizabeth Kiewisch (7th Class) will join UNICEF’s Gender Section in New York this Spring as a Gender and Development Officer, where she’ll continue the work she did during her fellowship as a Gender Specialist with the World Cocoa Foundation. Congratulations, Elizabeth!
New job, baby, spouse, publication, award, or move?  Share your alumni news at for inclusion in future communications like this one.

House Budget Committee Proposes to Block Grant SNAP through FY17 Budget
Last week the House Budget Committee released its FY17 budget proposal which includes provisions to convert the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) into a block grant program (referred to as “State Flexibility Fund”). Anti-hunger leaders and organizations including FRAC and Feeding America have released statements expressing their concerns that such a proposal would result in the reduction or complete loss of benefits for millions of people at a time of heightened need.  CHC agrees that SNAP works and the move to block grant the funds would eliminate the program’s ability to respond quickly to fluctuations in the economy and changes in need and likely result in fewer federal and state funds being allocated to food assistance over time.   
ABAWD Time Limits
The return of time limits for able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) participating in SNAP could soon result in millions of SNAP recipients losing their benefits unless they take steps to meet special work requirements. There are about 4.7 million ABAWDs participating in SNAP across the country.  One of the biggest challenges is getting the right information to those who may be at risk of losing their benefits. Please help spread the word to the vulnerable populations that you work with and to share accurate information more broadly through your networks.  You can learn more by visiting USDA’s web page on the effects of the SNAP ABAWD time limits. Please send us your stories of organizations and individuals being affected by the time limits so that we can share them with Administrators and public officials.
Global Food Security Act
The Global Food Security Act (GFSA), S.1252, passed out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by voice vote on March 10. GFSA, as amended during the mark-up, requires a whole-of-government strategy to guide U.S. global food and nutrition security efforts to ensure efficiency and effectiveness. It focuses on small-scale producers and women, rigorous evaluation of results, and building the cross-sectoral partnerships necessary to sustained progress against hunger and undernutrition. GFSA also creates the Emergency Food Response Fund, which continues the current use of the International Disaster Assistance (IDA) account to respond to emergencies where food assistance is needed quickly.

CHC thanks Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Corker (R-TN) and Ranking Member Cardin (D-MD), as well as the lead cosponsors Sens. Isakson (R-GA) and Casey (D-PA) for their bipartisan leadership on this important legislation. We are also grateful to Sens. Coons (D-DE), Collins (R-ME), Durbin (D-IL), Feinstein (D-CA), Boozman (R-AR), Rubio (R-FL), Whitehouse (D-RI), Kirk (R-IL), and Gillibrand (D-NY) for their cosponsorship of S.1252.

The House version of GFSA (H.R.1567) continues to garner bipartisan cosponsors. Since January 1, five Rs and two Ds have signed on to the bill, bringing total cosponsorship to 121. The Foreign Affairs and Agriculture Committees are still working to come to final agreement on bill language.
Seeking 2016 Summer Interns
Do you know an undergraduate, graduate, or recent college graduate looking for a challenging DC internship?  Send them our way.  Learn more about CHC’s Internships and apply today.  Applications are due by Friday, April 29, 2016, but late applications will be considered should there still be available positions.
Sponsor CHC’s 2016 Congressional Awards Ceremony, June 15, 2016
CHC will host the annual Congressional Awards Ceremony at the U.S. Botanic Garden on Capitol Hill on June 15, 2016.  We will celebrate our accomplishments, honor exemplary leaders, and recognize our partners in the fight to end hunger. On a bi-partisan basis, we present outstanding leaders from the U.S. government and the nonprofit sector with the Bill Emerson & Mickey Leland Hunger Leadership Awards for significant contributions in fighting hunger in the U.S. and around the world.  Stay tuned for the announcement of this year’s honorees!
Click here to learn about Sponsor opportunities for the 2016 Congressional Hunger Center Awards Ceremony. Questions? Contact Victoria O’Reilly, Director of Development, at (202) 547-7022 ext. 19 or
Where’s CHC this Spring?

If each individual receiving this newsletter gave just $10 a month, that’s an annual individual donation of $120 a year and collectively more than $100,000 a year!  Your small monthly donation can help us strengthen our leadership development, network building, and advocacy efforts and tackle the root causes of hunger.
Wanted: New or Gently
Used Professional Clothing
CHC has started a Professional Clothing Closet for Hunger Fellows to help ensure that they feel confident in their work environments while recognizing the budget constraints of living on a modest monthly stipend. Please consider collecting and sending unused retailer gift cards as well as new or gently used suiting items, work dresses, jackets, dress shirts, etc. to: the Congressional Hunger Center, Hall of the States Building, 400 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite G100, Washington, DC 20001.
Help us keep track of you and know where to reach you by keeping your contact information updated.
Stay up-to-date on all the latest CHC news as well as news and information from the broader anti-hunger community by following us on Twitter.
Copyright © 2016 Congressional Hunger Center, All rights reserved.

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