Hunger Awareness Month

June Hunger Awareness Month
June is National Hunger Awareness Month, a time to shed light on food insecurity and recognize those who need help in Wake County.

Hunger Awareness Webinars

Throughout the month of June, we're hosting four virtual webinars to spread the word about the ways that people in our community are fighting back against hunger. These will take place each Tuesday of the month at noon. Please join us during your lunch break to learn about some incredible people and organizations! When the time comes, just click the buttons next to each webinar listing to join in!

Each of these webinars will be recorded and available for you to watch later.

June 4, 2024, at noon: Community Garden Webinar

In this informative webinar, Gene Cross, a dedicated volunteer at the Community Connections Garden of Wake Forest Baptist Church, recounts the journey and success of their community garden initiative. Established over a decade ago under the vision of Dr. Bill Slater, the garden aims to connect people with their community, the land, and sustainable agriculture. Operating on a collective gardening model, volunteers work together to cultivate a variety of nutritious vegetables primarily in-ground, supplemented by raised beds for accessibility. The garden's impact extends beyond food production, fostering relationships and providing over 8,200 volunteer hours since inception. Gene highlights their robust distribution network, supplying fresh produce to local nonprofits like Tri-Area Ministries and a soup kitchen, underscoring their commitment to community service and food security initiatives.Watch the Webinar on YouTube

June 11, 2024, at noon: Youth Hunger Webinar

Tune in to learn about youth in the community using their skills and talents in the food security space. Youth Specialist, Dr. Thomas Ray, shares, "Evaluating Wake County Food Hubs in Serving the Community," a project conducted by a Wake County 4-H member. Arjun Kuncha is a student from Enloe High School researching to gain a deeper understanding of clients' backgrounds and food preferences so that they can be better served in the community. 

Also featured: Learn about how to receive free meals for children with the Summer Food Service Program! the Webinar on YouTube

View the Online Project Summary

June 18, 2024, at noon: Food Pantry Operations Webinar

Join us for an insightful webinar featuring David Disher, the Hunger Nutrition Program Director at Urban Ministries of Lake County. David shares his personal journey from facing food insecurity to leading efforts in combating hunger through various community programs. Learn about the impactful initiatives of Urban Ministries, including their food pantry, the Helen Wright Center for Women, the Open Door Clinic, and volunteer services.Watch the Webinar on YouTube

June 25, 2024, at noon: Hunger Awareness Send-Off & Family Testimonials

Hear from some families who have been directly impacted by the work the community has done to combat hunger.Join This Webinar

Volunteer Opportunities in Wake County

The most hands-on way to get involved in putting a stop to hunger is by volunteering with one of the many incredible organizations in our county that work tirelessly to combat food insecurity every single day.

Click the button below to learn about a few organizations seeking volunteers and stay on the lookout for a compiled list of dozens of specific volunteer opportunities later this month!

Get Involved

Americorps VISTA Positions with Wake Cooperative Extension

We are currently accepting applications for several Americorps VISTA positions. These positions are a year-long commitment, and they provide a basic living allowance, a monthly rent stipend, and an education award at the end of your service.

Learn More and Apply


2023 Hunger Awareness Archive

2023 Wake County Food Plan Update

Creating a Resilient & Equitable Food System

On March 20, 2023, Wake County Board of Commissioners approved a $7.2 million food plan update. Moving Beyond Hunger: Creating a Resilient & Equitable Food System is an update to the 2018 Wake County Food Plan.

These updates are the result of an equity-based steering committee, partner-organization workgroups, and research-based analysis of similar models. The steering committee was composed of community members with lived experience of poverty and/or strong advocacy roles in their community, as well as practitioners actively working in food system roles.

Food Plan Update Webinar (June 7th, 2023)

Youth Food Security Summit

youth food summit logo
Recap of 2023 Youth Summit (Slide Deck)
Click to walk through the 2023 Youth Summit, organized by Communications Strategist VISTA, Elizabeth Eichen.

Planting Seeds for the Future

youth food security summit audience

The Youth Summit includes youth in the conversation of food security, teaching skills and knowledge necessary to contribute to work in local food systems. The Summit provides an age-appropriate explanation of food security, as well as hands-on activities and lessons.

Building Leadership Skills

garden workshop closeup

Youth participants gain perspective by connecting with leaders performing food security work in Wake County and sharing their voice through meaningful engagement opportunities.

Wake County Food Security Leaders

garden class teacher spotlight

This annual event is open to 8th–12th grade students in Wake County each Hunger Awareness Month (June).

Wake County Cooperative Extension's VISTA team hosts the summit alongside local food systems leadership:

Some of our favorite photos!

planning team at yfss
youth food security summit audience
youth food security summit activities and participants
youth food security summit activities and participants
youth food security summit activities and participants
youth food security summit activities and participants
youth food security summit activities and participants
youth food security summit activities and participants
youth food security summit activities and participants
youth food security summit activities and participants
youth food security summit activities and participants
youth food security summit audience

Unity Around the World: International Festival

Sharing Food Around the World!

Promoting diversity in the community and awareness of other cultures! 

Unity Around the World is presented by Extension & Community Association (ECA), an adult volunteer organization closely affiliated with N.C. Cooperative Extension. Wake County ECA members are committed to continuing education, leadership development, and volunteer service in their communities.

This International Festival brings the community together in one place to travel to countries all over the world. Attendees have the opportunity to try cultural food dishes, and view artifacts, traditional attire, music and more!

Experience the Fun!

Summer Food Service Program

summer meals text code

Summer Meals is a USDA federally funded program created to ensure food is available to youth during the summer months.

In North Carolina, nearly 1 in 5 children are living in food insecure households, and the loss of school meals is a significant impact on childhood hunger. All meals are free to community members 0–17 years old.

Farm Safety Donation Drive

juntos summer academy community service project for nc farm workers

The Juntos Summer Academy is a residential camp held at NC State University. In 2023, the camp took place from June 12–17, with 105 high school participants from nine counties in North Carolina.

Youth engaged in career and skills workshops, a week-long project led by community professionals, and a field trip to Wake Technical Community College, amongst other activities. On the last afternoon of the Academy, students gathered at the McKimmon Center to participate in a community service activity called Juntos Apoyamos A Nuestra Comunidad | Together We Support Our Community.

For this year's community service activity, the Juntos program partnered with Wake County Cooperative Extension and NC State Extension's Farmworker Safety Department to host a Farm Safety Donation Drive.

Donations were collected in multiple locations across the county to stock care packages for farm workers arriving in North Carolina. Juntos Youth assembled care packages in reusable bags with items such as toiletries, sunblock, bandanas, gloves and other farm safety essentials. The donated items were distributed to 97 NC farm workers by Roberto Rosales, the Farmworker Safety Trainer at NC State Extension.

Juntos Summer Academy supports NC Farm Workers

juntos summer academy 2023 service project farm safety donation drive distribution
juntos summer academy community service project for nc farm workers
juntos summer academy farm worker distribution
juntos summer academy distribution of farm safety drive donation items
Lucía Planchón

Information provided by: Lucía Planchón, Juntos Assistant Director