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Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program

The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship, a project of the Congressional Hunger Center, is a unique leadership development opportunity for motivated individuals seeking to make a difference in the struggle to eliminate hunger and poverty.


The Congressional Hunger Center (CHC) is excited to offer a unique opportunity to be actively involved in the movement to end hunger and poverty. CHC is a bi-partisan organization committed to making access to nutritious, affordable and culturally appropriate food a national priority. Every year, we look for promising young leaders who care about addressing the problems of hunger and poverty in communities across the nation. Our national initiative, the Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program, trains, inspires and sustains a tight-knit community of emerging leaders committed to social justice. The program provides Fellows with an opportunity to gain practical experience fighting hunger and poverty, work with community-based and national leaders, deepen their analysis around poverty and develop leadership skills.  Each year, twenty Emerson National Hunger Fellows help shape and implement local social justice programs all over the U.S. and then research and support national policy initiatives in Washington, DC.     Participants are selected for this eleven-month program based on the criteria below.  Fellows are placed for five months with urban and rural community organizations involved in fighting hunger at the local level, such as grassroots organizing groups, food banks, local advocacy groups, economic development agencies, and faith-based organizations.  They then move to Washington, D.C. to complete the year with five months of work at advocacy and public policy organizations involved in anti-hunger and anti-poverty work at the national level.  This unique program allows Fellows to bridge community grassroots efforts and national public policy. Applications are encouraged from candidates reflecting diverse educational, cultural, personal and experiential backgrounds.

Selection Criteria

● Commitment to social justice ● Demonstrated leadership qualities and skills ● Flexibility and ability to adjust to new situations ● Creativity and initiative in problem solving ● Commitment to anti-racism ● Willingness to learn from experts in the field, and commitment to the search for new models in anti-hunger and anti-poverty work


● Bachelor's degree ● U.S. citizenship or permanent residency


A living allowance of $14,500, health insurance, housing in the field, a housing stipend in D.C., travel expenses, professional development training opportunities, and a $3,500 end of service award are included.


11 months

For more information:

Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program