Rural Child Hunger Summit 2021: Planning, Partnerships, and Policy: National and Local Perspectives for Expanding Summer and Afterschool Meals in Rural Communities

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The Summer and Afterschool Meal Programs play a critical role in filling the nutrition gap that exists during the summer and afterschool for millions of children in rural communities. This session will highlight various strategies for rural expansion gleaned from three national organizations and network partners, with a look at pre-pandemic participation along with current opportunities.


Carolyn VegaCarolyn Wait Vega, Senior Manager, Share Our Strength

As a Senior Manager with Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign, Carolyn Wait Vega supports schools and non-profits nationwide in expanding access to nutritious afterschool meals and snacks. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, she has also taken an active role in Share Our Strength’s advocacy work to ensure that organizations and families have the flexibilities and resources needed to feed children, and she has helped No Kid Hungry campaign partners, schools, and non-profits understand their options under current waivers. Before joining Share Our Strength in 2015, Carolyn was a Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) Specialist for the District of Columbia state agency and a National Nutrition Policy Fellow at the Food Research & Action Center. Carolyn is a Registered Dietitian with a Bachelor’s in Nutrition from Ohio State University and a Master of Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Clarissa HayesClarissa Hayes, Senior Child Nutrition Policy Analyst, Food Research & Action Center

Clarissa Hayes joined FRAC in February 2015. As senior child nutrition policy analyst, she works with anti-hunger organizations as well as with local, state, and national groups to expand participation in the afterschool and summer nutrition programs. Before joining FRAC, Clarissa was an anti-hunger program associate at Maryland Hunger Solutions (an initiative of FRAC) and worked to increase participation in the child nutrition programs across the state. She has also completed two years of national community service through AmeriCorps NCCC and AmeriCorps VISTA.

Hayley KottlerHaley Kottler, Campaign Director, Kansas Appleseed

As Campaign Director, Haley engages with Kansans across the state in anti-hunger advocacy, conducting (and building!) grassroots campaigns, as well as making the case for change through policy and legislative action. Haley’s fi ght for justice is rooted in a devotion to equity and fairness for all.

Stacey McDanielStacey McDaniel, Anti-Hunger Initiatives Specialist, YMCA of the USA

Stacey McDaniel is a nationally recognized non-profit leader and antihunger advocate currently serving at the YMCA of the USA. Under her leadership, the Y launched a peer mentor network to promote innovation and strategic planning, developed sustainability and fundraising resources to preserve food programs for years to come, collaborated with community partners to mold a flexible framework for food programs that uniquely builds upon each communities’ strengths and resources, and scaled federally funded child nutrition programs to reach 5,200 sites nationwide – touching the lives of nearly a million kids last year alone. During her tenure, the Y has expanded its anti-hunger work, increasing service per year for the number of youth by 435% and meals by 386%.

Jeffrey SnyderJeffrey Snyder, CEO, Osage Prairie YMCA

Since 2012, Jeffrey Snyder has been the CEO of the Osage Prairie YMCA in Nevada, MO and also serves as a Food Service Delivery Facilitator for YMCA of the USA. He first got started in the Y movement in 2006 as a program director for the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. Throughout his 14-year career, Jeffrey has worn many hats and served in many roles; but it is programming for youth and anti-hunger efforts that he is most passionate about. Jeff has developed a sustainable food program in his rural community that had very few opportunities for youth to access meals. Today, the Osage Prairie YMCA program continues to evolve and grow through these uncertain times. Jeffrey, through collaborations with a local grocery store, USDA sponsorship, and countless volunteer groups, is offering 2,000 children 56,000 meals every week!

Any SchumacherAmy Schumacher, Senior Manager, Programs, Feeding America

Amy Schumacher is the Senior Manager of Programs at Feeding America. Her work focuses on supporting the network to increase access to nutritious meals for all communities and populations, with a focus on children and families. Amy received an AM in Social Service Administration focused on non-profit management from the University of Chicago. She received her BA in Psychology from the College of William and Mary and started her non-profit career as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Chicago. Amy worked in the AfterCare department of a residential treatment facility for youth who experienced trauma. Amy is passionate about exploring the intersection of hunger and poverty, trauma, and other challenges faced by those the Feeding America network serves and is interested in learning more about how connections with nonprofit and other community partners can improve the work already being done in the network.

Mya PriceMya Price, Manager, Commodity and Federal Nutrition Programs, Government Relations at Feeding America

Mya has a deep passion for working with child nutrition and other federal nutrition programs, impacting millions of children and families across the nation. She serves as Manager, Commodity and Federal Nutrition Programs on the Government Relations team at Feeding America, in which she leads efforts around The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP), Farmers to Families Food Box Program (CFAP), and child nutrition programs such as the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), Pandemic -EBT, and the Child and Adult Care Food Service Program (CACFP). Through these programs, she examines policy and programmatic impacts, works closely with other key national partners, and leverages Feeding America’s networks’ engagement. She is based in Washington, D.C., and is happy to bring her Kentucky roots, diverse expertise, and food bank experience toward combatting hunger across our nation.

Kathy PrinceKathy Prince, Director of Administration & Agency Relations, Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee

Kathy Prince is the Director of Administration and Agency Relations at Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee. She has more than 15 years of non-profit experience, with a previous background as a museum curator and educator. Kathy first realized the impact of food insecurity on children’s ability to learn in her work as a Character Education instructor for K-3 in a Title I school. She has been with the food bank for more than eight years, having begun her food-banking career in development and grants, then moving into agency relations three years ago. Since then, she and her team have grown their School Pantry Program from three to fourteen sites, implemented clinical healthcare partnerships to distribute food, increased mobile pantry distributions in rural areas, established college campus pantries, and increased the use of available TEFAP products across Second Harvest’s network of food pantries in 18 counties of East Tennessee.