May 10, 2015

The last couple of months have been full of conferences and learning opportunities. I attend the Anti-Hunger Policy Conference in D.C., the International Food Security and Nutrition Conference in Italy, the Community Kitchen Chef Conference in Vegas, final training in Chicago, and a local conference on childhood hunger in Indianapolis. All of these events were incredible and helped me to continue to try and understand hunger in the world and my role in helping to solve it. I have been so grateful to be given these opportunities through my job and working with Feeding America. 

It has been incredibly interesting to hear all of the innovative activities of people outside and inside my local community. At the policy conference I learned about unique ways communities are dealing with rural hunger including: a bus full of groceries at the bottom and teaching stations at the top in Florida. At the international conferenced I learned about communities working to connect public housing to hunger and how the urban design of communities can increase reliance on government feeding programs. In Vegas, I was amazed by classically trained chefs dedicating their lives to helping others and feeding kids through mobile food trucks. Going to the national office in Chicago is always a great experience. This time we learned how to wrap up our programs and everything we have achieved. More importantly we learned what to do next, and how to get there. Finally coming back to Indiana, it has been great to take everything I learned and share it with my food bank. Even if we can't implement everything right now at least they have the resources to know that it is possible. 

With the completion of our final training last month, I am starting to reflect back on just how far I have come. When I started I was in a new place, working with new people, and just trying to turn my passion into a career. Now I have new experiences, a better understanding of what hunger looks like and an even better understanding of everything that is happening to try and counteract it. Attending conferences and trainings is another way we are able to help our food banks and ourselves to end childhood hunger. Now that I am finally home, I am excited to see the places we will all go next. 

*Hope Pascoe is a member of the fourth cohort of Child Hunger Corps. She is stationed at Gleaners Food Bank.

The Child Hunger Corps is a national service program designed to increase the capacity and capability of food banks to execute programs targeted towards the alleviation of child hunger. The objective of the program is to increase the number of nutritious meals served to children in need in local communities across the country. The Child Hunger Corps initiative is sponsored by the ConAgra Foods Foundation.

Tags: Hunger Heroes , Child Hunger

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