A few weeks ago I attended the 2011 Conference of Leaders in Baltimore, hosted by Share Our Strength. I met a lot of extremely motivated individuals in the fight against hunger. It was particularly gratifying to see Sodexo Chef Robert Murnan presented with an award for his outstanding work and leadership with Cooking Matters Omaha.
During the conference I also had an opportunity to preview a collaborative effort by Share Our Strength and YSA (Youth Service America) to develop a new online youth action center dubbed No Kid Hungry 2. It was developed with funding provided by the Sodexo Foundation and debuts on the first anniversary of No Kid Hungry. The site, which goes live today at NoKidHungry2.org, aims to engage youth in the national anti-hunger movement by encouraging and educating a new generation of passionate and dedicated young leaders who will advocate for this cause among their school peers and friends.
No Kid Hungry 2 is feature and resource-rich, with two main sections: Kids Kick Hunger for those under 13 years old and Leaders Tackle Hunger for ages 13 and above. Age-appropriate content and resources will be posted to each section, enabling young people to organize volunteer activities, launch advocacy efforts and raise awareness in their schools and local neighborhoods about childhood hunger in America.
The site’s integration of social media tools offers powerful means for connecting young people all over the U.S., while also providing them with the ideas and resources they need to be effective change agents in their own communities. I like to think of No Kid Hungry 2 as a “brain trust of youth hunger champions.”
In opening his speech at Conference of Leaders, Share Our Strength chairman and CEO, Billy Shore used a humorous anecdote about his six year old son warning a fellow beach toddler about the temporal nature of sand castles, observing that they are never there in the morning. Shore went on to tell the audience that unlike those unsustainable structures, Share Our Strength, with the help of its many supporters, has put into place a solid foundation built around multiple platforms guaranteeing that its work and efforts will endure well beyond the next sunrise.
No Kid Hungry 2 is just one such platform upon which the work of fighting childhood hunger will advance. It will be instrumental in helping bring food to, as Shore put it, “the most vulnerable and the least responsible for the position they are in” – children.
Please share the link for No Kid Hungry 2 and empower the young people in your life to uplift their peers.
Robert A. Stern is senior vice president and general counsel for Sodexo, Inc. and president of the Sodexo Foundation, which supports innovative programs to help children and families in the United States who are at-risk of hunger.