All posts by Carly Zimmerman

No place for Anti-Semitism or Racism

We are saddened and appalled by the events in Charlottesville. Racism and anti-Semitism have no place in our country and violence is never tolerable. We must all speak out and live our values through our actions.

Challah for Hunger has been and will continue to be a welcoming and inclusive community that unites to help those in need. We believe the joy, friendships and love that comes from baking bread, volunteering, and learning together builds communities that are stronger than hate and violence.

In addition to supporting our welcoming and inclusive communities, Challah for Hunger is also committed to our volunteers’ safety. As our students return back to school over the next couple of weeks, our staff and alumni advisors will reach out to student leaders on every campus to ensure a smooth and safe transition.

We will also continue to work with our partners across the country demonstrate our commitment to diversity and love.

This weekend, our Board of Directors and Staff will participate in the Together At the Table Initiative, and we encourage you to take a look at the great resources to start productive conversations put together by our partners at the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, One Table and Repair the World.

Please reach out if you have any questions. Our door is always open.

Liz Smulian, Chair of the Board of Directors
Carly Zimmerman, CEO

Jeff reflects on his board service


Jeff Marks, Binghamton alumnus and Senior Associate at KPMG, reflects on his experience serving on the Board of Directors.

When I stumbled upon a student group called Challah for Hunger during my first month as a freshman at Binghamton University in 2009, I never imagined I would be writing this blog post to share with you my incredible experience serving as a board member.

From the moment I first encountered Challah for Hunger, I thought it was awesome that students were baking and selling challah bread to raise funds and awareness about hunger-related issues, and I instantly wanted to be part of the team. I was involved all four years of undergrad, including senior year as a chapter co-coordinator, and was part of the sales team during graduate school. After graduating, I stayed involved as a member of the Fundraising Committee and as a Chapter Advisor. When given the opportunity to apply to be part of the Board, I eagerly said yes! Why? I knew first-hand the positive impact Challah for Hunger has on the local, campus, and Jewish communities.

Over the last two years, I have been able to cultivate and practice invaluable leadership skills with some of the most talented and motivated people I’ve encountered including the organization’s Board, CEO and staff. I engaged in our relationship-building efforts as part of our Fundraising Committee and as a Board member, monitored financial performance throughout the year as a member of our Finance Committee, and crafted the Board’s meeting minutes to document key votes and decisions to continue the organization’s positive momentum while serving as Secretary on the Executive Committee.

I leveraged my experiences as a campus chapter leader to understand and contribute to the organization’s core values, operations, and strategic direction. I am proud to have served during a pivotal time for the organization, as we continue to grow and expand our campus chapter program and the Campus Hunger Project, which aims to address the issue of food insecurity on college campuses.

Along the way, I have made lasting friendships and connections with like-minded leaders. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished as a team, and look forward to remaining involved and contributing to the continued success, growth, and positive impact of Challah for Hunger.

Thank you, Jeff, for your service!

Challah for Hunger welcomes 6 new board members

Join us in welcoming our newest board members, a diverse and talented group of individuals: Maya, our student representative from Miami, Sophie, a dedicated alumna from UNC Chapel Hill, Eileen, a volunteer who has helped us grow our Social Change Bakery and Giving Circle programs, Wendy, a parent of current superstar Jenna at Oxy and nutrition advocate, Claudine, a PR & Communications expert and Ariel, who bring hers experience with strategic planning. 

We also share our gratitude to several board members who are finishing their board terms: Kate Forester, Jeff Marks, Caryn Roth and our student representative, Jordan Friedland. Thank you for helping us #bakeadifference with your energy, leadership and passion for our work. 

Visit our Board of Directors Page to view our full board for 2017-2018.

Statement on Rise in Food Insecurity on College Campuses

Today at a town hall held at George Washington University, the Wisconsin HOPE Lab and the Association of Community College Trustees released their latest survey on food insecurity among college and university students. In response to these recent findings and to the February 23rd letter to the Government Accountability Office from Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Patty Murray and Senator Edward Markey requesting a more comprehensive assessment of this issue by the Government Accountability Office, we issued a statement. Read our full statement here.


Learning from the Campus Hunger Project

Since the Campus Hunger Project launched this summer, 32 chapters and counting have pledged to participate in the Campus Hunger Project, and our student volunteers have conducted 23 interviews of campus administrators to understand if and how their campuses support those in need. Sumner Schwartz, a junior and Challah for Hunger chapter treasurer at Occidental College, has been very active in the Campus Hunger Project:

Taking part in the Campus Hunger Project has been an eye-opening experience. I have learned so much about not only a problem that both my campus community and colleges around the country face but also how to bring about serious change. It’s been really cool interviewing key administrators–like the Director of Financial Aid and the Vice President of Hospitality Services–and coming up with changes that are going to help my fellow Oxy tigers.

…Through CfH I’ve learned ways to not only combat hunger in my community but how to bring about change. I’m really thankful for the strategies they have shown me in dealing with campus administrators and how to organize my community into creating real change. I know I’ll be able to use these tools and strategies in my future endeavors. 

Click here to learn more about the Campus Hunger Project. 

Losing the food safety net

There is no single root cause of food insecurity among college students. Food insecurity exists in a tangled web of issues related to income, education, race and class.

Let’s start by looking at the world of higher-education. Today, a college degree is more necessary than ever to secure a job, advance a career, and afford a basic quality of life. Out of the 11.6 million jobs created during the recovery from the 2008 Recession, 99% of those jobs went to those with at least part of a college education.

But the path to a college degree comes with challenges of its own. More than half of K-12 students in America’s public schools (almost 30 million) are low income and eligible for free or reduced-price lunch. For those students that enroll in college, the food insecurity they faced doesn’t disappear when they graduate from high school.

Click  here to take action through out latest action alert.
Click here to become an advocate today!

Defining our terms: What do we mean by campus hunger?

What does the term hunger mean? When we say hunger, we are really talking about food insecurity. Hunger is the craving or physical need for food, and is one of many symptoms of food insecurity.

Food insecurity is more than hunger. College students experiencing food insecurity don’t know where their next meal is coming from, and don’t have the necessary resources, time or money to afford or access food.

College food insecurity is not a new phenomenon. In 1993, the Michigan State University Student Food Bank was founded and became the first campus-based food assistance program in the country. Since then, over 300 colleges and universities are members of the College & University Food Bank Alliance, an organization that supports existing and emerging campus food banks.

Check out the latest action alert from the Campus Hunger Project. 
Sign up to become an advocate today!

3 million college students need food assistance

Last October, we sat down with our partners at MAZON: A Jewish Response to Hunger to discuss ideas for a new advocacy project. During this meeting, they told us about a growing problem that nobody was talking about: food insecurity on college campuses.

As an organization that has worked with college students for more than a decade, we prided ourselves on being “in the know” when it came to working on campus. We were shocked to learn how widespread this problem is in the United States and quickly realized that if we didn’t have a clue, then our student volunteers, alumni and supporters probably also didn’t know.

This lack of awareness is just one of the reasons we decided to focus our advocacy work on addressing food insecurity on college campuses through the Campus Hunger Project. Over the next year, we are embarking on a research project on 40 campuses to learn if and how colleges are supporting students in need. We’ll use this research to develop recommendations for long terms solutions and work closely with current and new partners to make these solutions a reality.

We are also on a mission to increase awareness about this growing problem. This is where you come in. Whether you are a student, alum, partner, friend or just came across this website when you were looking for challah recipes, you can do something about this problem now. You can become an advocate for this campaign and pledge your support to spread the word to your networks. It’s as simple as clicking here and signing up for our action updates. 

Thank you for your support. We look forward to learning with you and sharing our chapters’ progress.


The Alumni Giving Circle is back!

The Challah for Hunger Alumni Giving Circle is a group of alumni who will collectively give 1-3 grants to non-profits fighting hunger in local communities. The Alumni Giving Circle will accept nominations from Challah for Hunger alumni, selecting 3-5 semifinalists to research and finally selecting 1-3 grant recipients.

Click here to learn more and nominate a local non-profit in your community! 

Click here to read Giving Circle co-leader Kate Belza’s reflection on the first year of the giving circle experience.