Anti-Hunger Champions Recognized at 2024 Hunger Leadership Awards


Above: Hunger Fellow alums at the 2024 Hunger Leadership Awards. 📸: Christine Halsey. 

On Wednesday, June 12, the Congressional Hunger Center was joined by over 250 supporters to recognize six outstanding leaders in the movement to end hunger at our annual Hunger Leadership Awards Ceremony. Members of Congress and leaders from government, philanthropy, the nonprofit and private sectors were in attendance to recognize and celebrate our award recipients’ achievements over the past year, which are building momentum to reaching zero hunger. View our event photo gallery here.


Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. 📸: Christine Halsey.


Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack delivered the keynote address highlighting the strong working relationship and dedication of our Congressional awardees, Senator Debbie Stabenow and Senator John Boozman, and the legacy their collaboration will have on the lives of millions of children across the U.S. “Now, those youngsters will not probably know anything about Debbie Stabenow or John Boozman,” he explained. “They may not even know about the summer EBT program. But their lives will be fundamentally changed because they’ll get proper nutrition as a result of the work of these two individuals…it is an example of what can be done when two people come together, sit down, look at a problem, and figure out how to solve it. It is an example of what we need more of in this country.”


Sen. Debbie Stabenow (right) with Rep. James P. McGovern and Hunger Center Executive Director Shannon Maynard. 📸: Christine Halsey.


Senator Stabenow was this year’s recipient of the Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Lifetime Achievement Award for her longstanding commitment to ending hunger and her skill at building bipartisan coalitions to support practical policy solutions. Senator Stabenow will retire at the end of the 118th Congress.

Senator Stabenow highlighted the human cost of hunger in the U.S. “There are more than 44 million people in our country, America, that struggle with hunger,” she said. “And by the way, most of them are working. Most of them are just trying to hold it together – work one part-time job, two part-time jobs – just to keep going for themselves and their families. And we know 1 in 6 households of children has challenges feeding those children.”


Sen. John Boozman (center) with Bryan Dierlam (ADM) and Hunger Center Executive Director Shannon Maynard. 📸: Christine Halsey.


Senator Boozman was awarded the Bill Emerson and Mickey Leland Hunger Leadership Award for his longtime support of innovative approaches to address food security both domestically and globally, in particular for his leadership in establishing a permanent summer EBT program to keep U.S. children fed.

Senator Boozman expressed gratitude to the members of the anti-hunger community that had gathered at the ceremony. “We’re the ones accepting the awards,” he said, “but none of this stuff would get done without you – without the grassroots, without you pushing in the various entities that you represent. Thank you for all the tremendous work that you do, thank you for your faithfulness, and again, it’s just everybody working together to make these things happen.”


Dawn Pierce, Board Chair of Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force. 📸: Christine Halsey.


The 2024 Community Champion Award was presented to the Idaho Hunger Relief Task Force for their focus on collaboration and finding solutions to hunger rooted in community. Accepting the award was Board Chair Dawn Pierce, who highlighted the role of ending hunger in helping children achieve their potential. “We tell our children they can be and do anything,” said Pierce, “The sky is not the limit, and to reach for the stars. They cannot accomplish any of those things if they are hungry. It all starts and ends with hunger – hunger is ground zero.”


Bill Behrens of Kraft Heinz (center) with Lee Anderson (General Mills) and Hunger Center Executive Director Shannon Maynard. 📸: Christine Halsey.


The 2024 Corporate Partner Award was awarded to Kraft Heinz, highlighting their philanthropic, logistical, and technical support of Rise Against Hunger, meeting immediate needs for nutrition through their popular meal packing events as well as long-term solutions through sustainable agricultural development programs.

“As a company, we believe in the power of partnerships,” said Bill Behrens, Kraft Heinz’s Global Head of Government Affairs “One thing is for sure – we’re not doing this work alone. That’s why we’re especially grateful for the strategic partners like Rise Against Hunger. We’ve worked together in this fight for ten years, and their expertise in tackling global hunger has been invaluable. We could not do this without them.”


Remarks from Bryan Pride via video. 📸: Christine Halsey.


Receiving the Rising Star Award was alum Bryan Pride (Leland ’21), Rise Against Hunger’s technical program director, for integrating nutrition into agriculture and food security programs, emphasizing the connection between food production and its impact on the body in addition to income generation for the grower. “To me, empowerment is the most essential component of international development work,” said Pride, who was unable to attend in person and submitted pre-recorded remarks via video. “And it is the most challenging thing to get it right. The first step to empowerment is belief—it is believing that your outcome can be different. That’s why the approach that I use focuses on empowering through knowledge – taking concepts that oftentimes feel abstract or too technical and figuring out how to make them relatable, approachable.”


Robert Campbell (2nd from left) with Hunger Center Executive Director Shannon Maynard and Feeding America colleagues and alums Emma Williamson, Ally Hardebeck, and Fleurian Filkins. 📸: Christine Halsey.


The Outstanding Alum award was presented to Robert Campbell, for his leadership at Feeding America’s policy division, and in particular for his role in in developing and advocating for permanent summer EBT. “Leadership is about the collective power of a team,” said Campbell. “It’s about creating an environment where everyone feels empowered, heard, and valued throughout their careers. Looking around this room, I see so many faces, many people, and the incredible teams I’ve had the privilege to work with. And this truly is an award reflecting your dedication, your talent, and your unwavering support, and I thank you for it.”

The Hunger Leadership Awards were made possible with the generous support of the following sponsors:


Amazon Logo


ADM Logo
General Mills


American Beverage Logo
Cargill Logo
Kraft Heinz
Walmart Logo


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Share Our Strength Logo
The Russell Group
World Food Program USA


American Farm Bureau Foundation
Consumer Brands Association Logo
Feeding America
FMI The Food Industry Association Logo
MAZON: A Jewsih Response to Hunger
Torrey Advisory Group



Alliance to End Hunger

Lindsey Baker*

Bunge North America

Food Research & Action Center

Mars, Inc.

Marshall and Debbie Matz

National Corn Growers Association

National Farmers Union

National Grocers Association

North American Millers' Association

Root Cause Coalition

Eric Steiner*

Mary Catherine Toker


*Indicates Hunger Center Alum

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