Steve Reiss joined the Rise Against Hunger team as Community Engagement Manager for the organization’s New York location, which opened in 2016. While Steve has spoken to countless volunteer groups over the past three years, he recently had the opportunity to speak to a group that had a special meaning to him. Read more in our Q&A with Steve below!
Q: What inspired you to start working at Rise Against Hunger?
A: After nearly 25 years in both Corporate America and self-employed ventures, I was looking for opportunities that provided me with job satisfaction that went beyond just my own financial needs. Coming to Rise Against Hunger provided me with that experience where I can use my diverse business background daily to help grow our movement locally while satisfying the needs of our beneficiaries internationally.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: I thoroughly enjoy meeting and interacting with new people every single day. Having the chance to feel the volunteers’ energy and enthusiasm about fighting world hunger or to talk about food insecurity throughout the world and Rise Against Hunger’s mission and vision to end it in front of a classroom of students, members of a faith-based congregation or a corporate setting is extremely satisfying and rewarding.
Q: Please tell us about your recent speaking opportunity at your own middle school.
A: I became inspired after my parents received a note from a 7th grader in their neighborhood named Raquel and her friend Anastasia which advised that they were initiating a food drive for the local community. The note was extremely well written, citing hunger facts from around the world and a call to action that made me immediately reach out to their teacher to offer my interest in speaking to their entire grade about hunger and what we do at Rise Against Hunger. It was absolutely exciting! The last time I was in Park Middle School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, was 36 years ago, so returning to be a presenter during an all-grade assembly, one very much like what I would have seen when I attended school there, made me feel proud as well as determined to provide the students with an experience that would hopefully encourage and inspire them to get involved with a social issue that they feel strongly about. The lesson I took away from Raquel and Anastasia’s food drive is one is never too young to start making a difference. Little actions add up to big results as evidenced by my opportunity to amplify their message on hunger to their classmates.
Q: What are your hopes for the future, especially in the context of your work with Rise Against Hunger?
A: To continue to demonstrate how easy and fun the different opportunities that exist at Rise Against Hunger are for all ages, allowing everyone from every background to get involved and to help end world hunger by the year 2030.