Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program

The Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship program trains and inspires new leaders in the movement to end hunger and poverty in the United States. Fellows gain vital first-hand experience through placements with community-based organizations across the country as well as policy-focused organizations in Washington, D.C. The program bridges gaps between local efforts and national public policy, as fellows support partner organizations with program development, research, evaluation, outreach, organizing, and advocacy projects. 

During the 11-month fellowship, fellows develop a deep understanding of effective solutions to hunger and poverty, and their own roles in achieving Zero Hunger in the United States. Following orientation and field training in Washington, D.C., fellows spend five months with community-based organizations throughout the US. In mid-February fellows return to Washington for a second placement with organizations and government agencies focused on national anti-hunger and anti-poverty policy. 


  • Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident
  • Open to all academic fields
  • Senior, alumni

Award Highlights: 

  • 11-month fellowship
    • Fellows are placed for half their term of service with urban and rural community-based organizations all over the country involved in fighting hunger at the local level, such as grassroots organizing groups, food banks, economic development agencies, local advocacy groups and faith-based organizations
    • The second half is spent in Washington, DC to complete the year with national organizations involved in the anti-hunger and poverty movement, including national advocacy organizations, think tanks, and federal agencies

Application Components: 

  • Application form
  • Resume (1-page)
  • One-page personal statement
  • Short essay questions (2)
  • Letter of recommendation (1)