Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, today deepened its commitment to help communities get the food and resources they need to thrive by announcing that Zuani Maria Villarreal will take on a newly-created role building engagement and understanding with Latino communities. As Senior Director for Community Engagement, Villarreal helps lead a new team focused on creating partnerships and collaborations with influential organizations and leaders representing Black, Latino, and Native/tribal communities - groups that experience food insecurity at up to three times the national average.
“Zuani has championed change and inclusivity across our country in the twenty years she has been part of the movement to end hunger,” said Rajesh Mirchandani, Feeding America Chief Communications and Community Engagement Officer. “She knows every community wants to thrive – but that racial, cultural, and social barriers mean it’s harder for some than others. If we want to end hunger, it’s imperative we reach into its deepest pockets to understand and represent the people we serve. The team Zuani will lead will help us learn and do better.”
In her previous role leading Feeding America media relations, Villarreal spear-headed efforts to launch a Spanish-language press room and is the Spanish-language spokesperson for the organization. She also serves as a member of the Feeding America executive team and is co-chair of the nonprofit’s Latino employee resource group. Prior to joining Feeding America, Villarreal was the Chief Development Officer at the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Antonio and spent nearly a decade at the San Antonio Food Bank leading resource development efforts. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, she grew up in Brownsville, Texas.
“Latinos are a powerful force in this country. We are the largest racial or ethnic minority group and the second largest voting bloc in the U.S. If we were our own country, we would be the fifth-largest GDP in the world. In order to address food insecurity disparities by race and place, Latinos need to be at the table,” said Villarreal. “I am incredibly honored to take on this new role within Feeding America. I look forward to listening and learning from incredible individuals in the Latino community to help inform Feeding America as we work to ensure equitable food access for all.”
Villarreal joins Mark Ford, who leads Feeding America’s work with Native and tribal communities. The organization is currently recruiting for a new role to lead engagement with Black community organizations.
For more information about Feeding America’s work, visit feedingamerica.org.
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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 5.2 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 Twitter.