Wes grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas and received degrees in professional writing and museum studies from Baylor University. After graduating, he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with the New York City Coalition Against Hunger and the Texas Hunger Initiative in Lubbock, Texas. As a VISTA, he facilitated a photography project that empowered individuals experiencing food insecurity to tell their stories, supported local community garden efforts, and increased awareness of anti-hunger efforts in Lubbock. He also convened the first South Plains Hunger Summit, which brought together individuals and organizations from different sectors to improve interagency coordination in fighting hunger and poverty.
Field placement: Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
Wes created a statewide advocacy website that centralizes Pennsylvania’s anti-hunger resources, including up-to-date statistics on food insecurity and safety net programs, as well as locations where individuals can receive food assistance and find help signing up for SNAP. He also made a sustainability toolkit for statewide data sites that can be used by other regions to replicate the project.
Policy placement: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Wes updated USDA guidance on unpaid school meals, Provision 2 of the National School Lunch Program, and participation in the at-risk after school meals component of CACFP. He also collected best practices gleaned from the Summer EBT pilot project and providing technical assistance for the Child Nutrition Reauthorization.
Hunger Free Community Report
Pennsylvania Hunger Data and Resource Website Toolkit is a sustainability guide for the website and a toolkit for advocates interested in replicating the project in other states with step by step instructions.