By Ben Nyhoff
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 snacks and meals served to children in need in local communities around the country. The Child Hunger Corps initiative is sponsored by the ConAgra Foods Foundation.
In August 2012, the third cohort of nine new Corps members were placed at Feeding America member food banks, bringing the current total to 15 Child Hunger Corps members working at food banks across the country. This post is by third cohort member Ben Nyhoff, Child Hunger Corps member at Care and Share Food Bank in Colorado Springs, CO.
Two years. Is that a long time? An era? A brief passing moment? As the clock approaches midnight on our cohort’s two-year service term, I would argue all of the above. The list of accomplishments over two years hints that it must be a reasonable duration. Research, interviews, focus groups, mapping, goals, meetings, plans, partnerships, program implementation, development, design, evaluation, sustainability are just some of the highlights. And yet, as time runs out, my mind races to the things left unfinished. I’ve helped add nearly 20 new program sites in two years, but our waiting list continues to grow. We’ve served thousands of new children over the past two years through meals, snacks, and weekend bags, yet we know that child food insecurity throughout our area has risen at the same time. My initial perspective looking back is, “We’ve sure accomplished a lot, but there is still so much to do!” But as I put more thought in, I prefer to come at it saying, ”There is still so much to do, but we’ve sure accomplished a lot!”
Unfortunately the nationwide hunger crisis is far from over. Sorry guys, I just couldn’t solve it in two years – there wasn’t enough time! But as I look back at all of the things I’ve accomplished alongside my cohort and the rest of the network, I’m motivated to keep up the fight. If we can build on the progress that was made during this brief two years, there is a long future full of hope in the fight against hunger and I can’t wait to be a part of it.Tags: Innovative Solutions to Hunger , Child Hunger , Colorado , Care and Share Food Bank