Feeding America Names Hunger’s Hope Winners for 2018

Food Banks and Their Leaders Honored

April 27, 2018

Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, presented the 2018 Hunger’s Hope Awards at their annual conference this week in Tampa, Florida.

Feeding America distributes food and groceries to more than 46 million low-income people each year through a network of 200 food banks that serve 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across the country.

The 2018 Hunger’s Hope Award Winners are:

2018 Member of the Year

The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona (Tucson, AZ) was recognized for demonstrating excellence in its efforts to serve its community and cultivating a strong organizational culture that has deeply engaged board members and staff in its mission. 

“The Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona is an outstanding organization that is making a big difference in the lives of people facing hunger throughout the region,” said Matt Knott, president of Feeding America. “They are distributing nutritious food—including lots of fresh produce—to struggling communities and supporting people in need to build skills and pursue opportunities that create financial stability and self-sufficiency.  Their impact is made possible by the commitment of chief executive officer Michael McDonald and the board to fostering a positive environment at the food bank where employees are empowered to take action and recognized for their efforts.” 

The food bank was also cited for being highly collaborative, as evidenced by their community partnerships and by their efforts to share insights with other food banks across the Feeding America network.

2018 Network Leader of the Year

Joe Arthur, executive director of the Central Pennsylvania Food Bank (Harrisburg, PA), was recognized for his advocacy for people facing hunger and commitment to providing fresh, nutritious food to key populations.

“Joe has worked hard to provide healthy food to households across Central Pennsylvania with the most acute need for meals, including many military families. He has also channeled more fresh produce and dairy items into the hands of people struggling with hunger. Additionally, Joe has established partnerships that have increased awareness and support for effective anti-hunger policies. As a respected leader who serves on the National Council for the Feeding America network, Joe’s passion for ending hunger has led him to collaborate locally, regionally and nationally to support our neighbors in need,” said Knott.

2018 John van Hengel Fellow

Pamela Irvine, president and chief executive officer of Feeding America Southwest Virginia (Salem, VA) is this year’s recipient of the John van Hengel Fellowship. The award honors the ideals of the late John van Hengel, who developed the concept of food banking in the 1960s. It recognizes an executive director of a member food bank for his or her excellence in leadership, local impact and national influence, and commitment and entrepreneurial spirit in the area of hunger relief.

Pamela has served Feeding America Southwest Virginia for the past 37 years.

“Pamela has demonstrated unwavering compassion, dedication and leadership in the anti-hunger movement,” said Knott. “She established and grew Southwest Virginia’s first food bank from a one-room operation to the largest provider of meals for struggling families in a 26-county region. Over the years, she has not only helped feed many people in her community, but also invested in the success of leaders and partnerships throughout the country, moving us closer to truly ending hunger in America.” 


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About Feeding America

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of more than 200 food banks, 21 statewide food bank associations, and over 60,000 partner agencies, food pantries and meal programs, we helped provide 5.3 billion meals to tens of millions of people in need last year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; brings attention to the social and systemic barriers that contribute to food insecurity in our nation; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on X.com.