Gen Z Food & Hunger Summit

People most affected by hunger and poverty should be at the center of finding solutions—and in the U.S., no generation of adults is more likely now to be affected by food insecurity than Gen Z. In summer 2024, the Congressional Hunger Center and Food Systems Collaborative will host the second annual Gen Z Food & Hunger Summit to bring campus leaders to Washington, D.C., to learn how they can be effective advocates for food security and to meet with members of Congress to share stories from their communities.

Why This Summit?

Gen Z faces an alarming rate of food insecurity, with Purdue University reporting in 2022 that Gen Z households were twice as like to face hunger compared to Millennials, Generation X, and Baby Boomers.

In 2023 the Congressional Hunger Center, in collaboration with Bread for the World and Food Recovery Network, hosted the inaugural Gen Z Food & Hunger Summit, bringing 23 Gen Z advocates to Washington, D.C., to learn about key food security issues and effective strategies for advocacy with their elected officials.

Khadija Rashid headshot
We are the next generation, and we are going to be taking over soon. And I think it’s time that we understand what’s really going on, not just what we read but practically—that’s why we need to be here, to learn now. Khadija Rashid, 2023 Participant

What We're doinG in 2024

In 2024, the Congressional Hunger Center and Food Systems Collaborative are partnering to expand and grow the event to maximize the impact of Gen Z advocates in innovating our food systems and ending U.S. hunger.

The summit will include virtual and on-site trainings, where participants will learn about the advocacy process and how to run an advocacy meeting. Participants will also learn about food security in the U.S., including key topics and relevant legislation. The summit will conclude with Congressional meetings in Washington, D.C., followed by a debrief and celebration with key partners.

Draft Agenda

Monday, July 8

  • An Overview of Hunger and Food Insecurity in 2024
  • The Role of the Farm Bill and Ag Appropriations in Fighting Hunger
  • Storytelling and Advocacy
  • Demystifying Meeting with Elected Officials

Tuesday, July 9

  • Welcome and Congressional Member Keynotes
  • Inspiration: How Your Advocacy Makes a Difference
  • How You Can Continue Back Home
  • Congressional Meetings

Shannon Maynard headshot
Given the economic challenges facing Gen Z adults—from affordable housing and student loan debt to underemployment and food insecurity—they cannot afford to be absent from the halls of Congress where crucial decisions are being made about their lives and future. We want to make sure their voices are amplified when it comes to the economic and food insecurity they are experiencing right now. Shannon Maynard, Executive Director, Congressional Hunger Center

2024 Partnerships

We're partnering with the following organizations to amplify the voices of Gen Z in advocacy on Capitol Hill.

Bread for the World
The motto "Access to Education, Opportunity to Serve" distills the overarching goal of the Bonner Program. Since 1990, a diverse, multi-state consortium of participating colleges and universities have been joined through a common commitment to the Corella and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation’s mission to “transform students, communities, and campuses through service.”
Bread for the World
Bread for the World is a Christian advocacy organization urging U.S. decision makers to do all they can to pursue a world without hunger. Our mission is to educate and equip people to advocate for policies and programs that can help end hunger in the U.S. and around the world. They bring together the voices of churches, organizations, individuals, and other groups to change laws and systems that allow hunger to persist.
Congressional Hunger Center
Founded in 1993 by a bipartisan group of Members of Congress, the Congressional Hunger Center is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to the principle that access to nutritious, affordable, and culturally appropriate food is a basic human right. The Hunger Center develops, inspires, and connects leaders in the movement to end hunger, and advocates for public policies that will create a food secure world.
Food Recovery Network
Food Recovery Network unites 6,000+ college students, food suppliers, farmers, and local businesses across the U.S. in the fight against climate change and hunger by recovering surplus food from across the supply chain and donating it to local nonprofit organizations that feed people experiencing hunger.
Food Systems Collaborative
Food Systems Collaborative is a consultancy offering services at the intersection of social impact and food systems. Sitting between the public and private sectors, FSC focus is on helping corporations scale and implement food donation processes, including building custom standard operating practices for food donation, finding non-profit partners, and unlocking tax benefits for food donation, and more. It also helps companies create food systems-related SER and social impact strategies, specifically to showcase how brands can engage with public policy as a means for both social good and customer engagement.
Food Systems Collaborative
Established in 2020 by a group of college students, The Farmlink Project is dedicated to supporting farmers and feeding families across the country. Since its inception, the group of young founders has transformed what was initially a pandemic project into one of the most efficient and effective food recovery organizations in the country. With food going to waste at critical junctures of the supply chain, Farmlink ensures that the hard work of farmers pays off by getting food into the hands of those who need it most. In 2023 alone, The Farmlink Project rescued and delivered over 110 million pounds of fresh produce away from landfills and into communities. To date, their food rescue efforts have mitigated 258,437 metric tons of CO2e and positions them to drastically reduce GHG emissions globally. Ultimately, Farmlink is building a scalable solution to end hunger and food waste, within our lifetimes.
Student Basic Needs Coalition
The Student Basic Needs Coalition started as a student organization at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in 2019. The group originally formed to advocate for solutions to student food insecurity, but quickly found that students on their campus and campuses across the country were facing barriers to food, housing, health, and safety that prevented them from finishing their degrees. In 2020, SBNC at UTK joined forces with a similar group at NC State to launch the Student Basic Needs Coalition as a national nonprofit. They’ve since grown the organization from a presence on two campuses to involvement from youth advocates in 15 states. Their student leaders have designed projects ranging from collecting data on food insecurity to implementing free menstrual products, all of which have impacted over 90,000 students.
Swipe Out Hunger
Swipe Out Hunger is the leading nonprofit addressing hunger among college students. They promote on-campus solutions, policy and advocacy pathways, and community-building practices to address student hunger. They also work closely with leaders on the ground to not only ensure today’s students have access to meals, but to also address student hunger upstream with sustainable legislation and policies. Their national movement spans more than 750 colleges in all 50 states and Canada and has enabled 12.3 million nutritious meals to date.

Our Sponsors

Thank you to the following sponsors for making this year's event possible.


Special thanks to platinum sponsor Shipt for their support of the 2024 Gen Z Food & Hunger Summit and their commitment to making sure voices of young change-makers are heard in Washington.


Special thanks to Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation for supporting the Hunger Center's Zero Hunger Academy and Zero Hunger Internship since 2018.

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