Last week we had the tremendous opportunity to bring 12 of our No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassadors to Capitol Hill to talk about the impactful work they did this summer, and the results were powerful.
The No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassador program is made possible by the generous support of the Sodexo Foundation, and allows us to place current college students with our partners in the field to work on important anti-hunger initiatives. Sodexo Foundation’s commitment to engaging youth in anti-hunger work has made an enormous impact in the fight to end childhood hunger, something that is clearly evident with the Youth Ambassador program.
This summer we had 13 Youth Ambassadors working in 6 states: North Carolina, Arkansas, Texas, Illinois, Connecticut, and Montana. These young leaders dedicated their summers to connecting kids in need with crucial summer meals, along the way teaching Cooking Matters nutrition and cooking courses, conducting research, and leading community outreach efforts throughout their state. One Youth Ambassador described her experience here:
“Visiting sites, talking with volunteers, and sharing time with the kids themselves has shown me that childhood hunger is an overwhelming reality. While it’s a heartbreaking realization, it’s also a crucial one to have if you ever want to take steps toward fixing the problem.”
– Mary Katherine Barker, Arkansas Youth Ambassador
Last week, we were able to help the Youth Ambassadors tell the story of the work they did this summer to a powerful audience. 12 Youth Ambassadors, along with No Kid Hungry staff and leadership from Sodexo, took to Capitol Hill to meet with their members of Congress and tell them about the importance of summer meals.
The passion and energy that these amazing young leaders brought to the issue of childhood hunger could be felt throughout the halls of Congress, and served as a shining example of the work made possible through partnerships like that between No Kid Hungry and Sodexo Foundation.
The impact that the program had was summed up powerfully by Illinois Youth Ambassador Denise Delgado:
“Both my summer internship and the visit to Washington DC have helped me develop my career goals. I came into the internship knowing that I would change kids’ lives by giving them access to a summer meal, but I feel that it’s also safe to say that these kids changed my life as well.
I will definitely continue to educate, empower, and advocate for this movement that has become a part of my life. I am forever thankful and I cannot wait to see what else is in store for this campaign.”
-Denise Delgado, Illinois Youth Ambassador
Visit the Photo Gallery to see more pictures from Capitol Hill.
Sam Read is the Online Organizer at Share Our Strength.