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hunger-free communities
throughout the Southern Tier.

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How does Hunger Education fit into the larger food assistance mission of the Food Bank of the Southern Tier?

The Food Bank of the Southern Tier strives to be our regionís leading organization addressing hunger. The Hunger Education program is a demonstration of our commitment to addressing the root causes of hunger in our community. This unique and growing program speaks to the evolving role that we, as a Food Bank, have in bring together our diverse network of partners and building capacity among our young people to make positive change. Emergency food assistance is and will remain our core mission, but our increased efforts in advocacy and Hunger Education speaks to our commitment to ending hunger in our community.

Is this programming appropriate to use with low-income youth?

Yes. During the development of this program, we focused on making this curriculum open to students from all socio-economic backgrounds. This curriculum does not call out students or make assumptions about the participants. There is space created for youth to share and ask questions, but we focus on the driving structural factors that have pushed many families into poverty.

How did the Hunger Education Program develop?

The Food Bank of the Southern Tier is proud to be one of the agencies in the national Feeding America network that has been at the forefront of Hunger Education programming. Our program has grown steadily in both scope and content since the first Hunger 101 workshop was offered in 2002. By 2004 the program was formalized and incorporated into the new Youth and Education Services department. A small group of staff and volunteers then worked together to create a four-workshop series that included Hunger 101, Continuum Jack, The Tale of Two Tomatoes, and Hunger Web. The series introduced students to the real- life decisions made by people experiencing food insecurity in the Southern Tier, as well as community food security and the compounding causes of hunger. Over the years the Food Bank of the Southern Tier worked with community partners such as the Alternative School of Math and Science to develop a full range of age-appropriate programming. By 2010 more than 1,100 youth from 21 area groups were participating in hunger education activities sponsored by the Food Bank. In 2011, the Food Bank of the Southern Tier brought on an AmeriCorps VISTA employee to support the growth of this program. That year the program reached 1,135 youth from 25 area groups. In the spring of 2012, with support from the program expansion phase of its capital campaign, the Food Bank committed to enhancing and expanding the program by hiring a full-time Hunger Education Coordinator, Megan Mills-Novoa, and launching an intensive effort to expand and strengthen the well received program.

Do you have any internships or volunteer opportunities related to Hunger Ed?

We are always looking for interns and volunteers to assist us with a number of facilitating, program development and outreach efforts. Please contact the Community Engagement Coordinator to begin a conversation about potential interning.

What types of groups have been part of the Hunger Education Program?

The short answer is LOTS. We work with students in class, after-school, through service organizations, as part of class projects, through faith groups, as Girl Scout Troops and through large community events. We have endeavored to create flexible and diverse programming that reaches a broad range of youth in a variety of contexts.

How many youth have been involved in Hunger Education?

In 2014, this program reached over 2,000 young people across the Food Bank's six-county service area.

Whatís coming next in the Hunger Education Program?

In this coming year we hope to develop a great deal more. Our goals for this coming year is the following: 

  • Offer several service-learning and family volunteering days at the Food Bank
  • Develop a robust group of Community Educators
  • Develop a Change Makers leadership development workshop series
  • Develop a Girl Scout Patch Program 

For more information contact:
Randi Lynn Quackenbush, Advocacy and Education Manager
at 607.796.6061 x4039 or email

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