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Feeding the Gulf Coast has long partnered with No Kid Hungry, a national campaign run by Share Our Strength, which is a nonprofit working to solve problems of hunger and poverty in the United States and around the world. One of the ways that No Kid Hungry works to end childhood hunger in local communities is by "helping the next generation of leaders feed kids in their communities." They do this through the Youth Ambassador program.

Through the support of the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, No Kid Hungry created this program to involve college-aged youth in the fight against childhood hunger by working with community partners, like us.

We are honored and excited to welcome Rachel Bedford to Feeding the Gulf Coast as our Youth Ambassador!

Rachel will be writing and posting on Feeding the Gulf Coast’s blog and social media about the important work she will be a part of in our Child Nutrition Program, specifically, our Summer Meals Program, which kicks off this week.

Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for Rachel’s updates.

FTGC: Tell us a little about yourself, Rachel.

RB: I am originally from Mobile, Alabama, and I am currently a student at The University of Alabama studying food and nutrition. I am also involved in the University's Honors College, as well as the Huxford Symphony Orchestra. My goal is to graduate with a degree in dietetics and become a registered dietitian specializing in treating eating disorders.

FTGC: What will you be doing in your role as a Feeding the Gulf Coast Youth Ambassador?

RB: As a No Kid Hungry Youth Ambassador for Feeding the Gulf Coast, I will be working hard to support and expand participation in the Summer Meals Program. This will be accomplished through community outreach, site visits, food distributions, grant work, and data collection.

FTGC: What excites you most about this role and what motivates you in the work that you will be doing?

RB: Working as a Youth Ambassador for Feeding the Gulf Coast is very exciting for me because of my passion for nutrition, as well as my love for children and the community around me. Through this role, I am able to engage with each of these aspects, which fuels my passion, giving me the motivation and drive that is so important in the work I am doing.

FTGC: Before working at Feeding the Gulf Coast, how familiar were you with hunger in our communities?

RB: I was aware of the existence of hunger in our communities, but not of the extent. My work has helped me see the prevalence and urgency of hunger, especially in the child population around us, and how dependent many children are on programs such as the Summer Meals Program.

Feeding the Gulf Coast is truly making a difference in the community, and I am thrilled to be a part of it!

- Rachel Bedford

If you are interested in learning more about our Summer Meals Program, like becoming a partner site, click here. If you're looking for a site where your children can get free meals, visit our Find a Child Meal Site page.