(Jan. 24, 2018) Catherine Read interviews Kären Rasmussen, Executive Director of No Child Goes Hungry , a local 501C-3 non-profit aimed at fighting childhood hunger. As a Unitarian Universalist Community Minister, Rev. Rasmussen often found herself confounded by the prospect that so many children in our communities are food insecure. As she attempted to wrap her head around this very pervasive problem, she wanted to reframe the issue of childhood hunger in a meaningful way. In her travels, she observed that people inside their communities were doing creative and meaningful work, but often needed resources to get their programs off the ground. She then decided that No Child Goes Hungry would focus on the fundraising, and then issue grants to those out in the community who have innovative ideas and could carry out the work. In addition to providing seed money, Rasmussen has also offered to help coach and mentor community activists, to share the wealth of knowledge she has gained through her years of work on this issue.
No Child Goes Hungry has issued grants to groups in 9 states, Washington, DC and Honduras. Rev. Rasmussen emphasized that the only requirement that is needed when applying for a grant is a good idea. She shared a story about a young high school student name Maddie Harris who wanted to build a food pantry at her high school, but lacked the supplies such as airtight plastic containers that were needed to complete the project. The young lady applied for a grant with NCGH, the project was completed, and they are now operating a food pantry at her high school supplied by donations from participating families.
Over the past one and a half years since NCGH was founded, Rasmussen has issued 37 grants. The mission of her organization is to empower individuals to make a difference right in their own communities – one child, one meal at a time. When a grant is awarded to an organization, Rev. Kären mentors the leaders of the specific group as they build their hunger advocacy projects. Every grant bestowed by NCGH is meant to be a springboard, and the hope is the recipients will be able to raise or contribute funds on their journey to become self-sufficient initiatives.
As No Child Goes Hungry rolls into 2018, Rev. Rasmussen is looking to ramp up her fundraising efforts, and encourage all who have creative ideas about how they can make an impact in their community to apply for a grant. 100% of the money raised goes toward fighting food insecurity in the youngest, most vulnerable members of our communities.