Skip to main content

Rise Against Hunger Executive Leadership

Barry Mattson

Chief Executive Officer

Barry Mattson joined Rise Against Hunger at an important time as his expertise in non-profit operations and focus on global impact will be paramount to continuing the organization’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #2 of achieving zero hunger by 2030. Barry has a strong commitment to serve in international hunger eradication. Barry worked to launch agriculture programs for people facing hunger in the southern highlands of Ethiopia. This experience impacted Barry’s personal commitment to end hunger immeasurably. In order to best support community members in Ethiopia, Barry lived and worked alongside them and learned the local languages.

Prior to joining Rise Against Hunger, Barry most recently served as Vice President, Regional Operations for The Mission Continues, where his responsibilities included leading a diverse staff and running operations for 56 cities in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Additionally, he has over a decade of extensive experience in capacity building, international supply chain management, agribusiness, civic engagement, and donor stewardship. Barry also served combat deployments in both the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Army in Iraq.

Barry holds a BS in Biology from the U.S. Air Force Academy, an MBA in Finance and Entrepreneurial Management from the Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, and an MA in International Development and International Security Studies from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. He lives with his family in Raleigh, NC.

Edna Ogwangi

Chief Impact Officer

Edna Ogwangi is the Chief Impact Officer for Rise Against Hunger. She leads Rise Against Hunger’s development around strategic efforts in advancing food security, humanitarian relief response and resilience pathways. Edna also spearheads initiatives pertaining to measuring effectiveness, impact and sustainability of all Rise Against Hunger programs globally.

Ogwangi is a native of Kenya has worked in the international development field for more than 25 years with experience in areas of economic development, food and nutrition security and non-profit management. Over the course of her career, Ogwangi has managed and/or supported several US Federal Government-United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Bill and Melinda Gates programs in more than 100 countries. In 2017, Ms. Ogwangi was featured in several U.S magazines including Upscale, People, Reader’s Digest and USA Today and Modern Woman Magazines as one of the Four Inspirational Modern Women.

In April, 2018, Edna was featured in the Raleigh News and Observer newspaper for her efforts to revitalize agriculture and food security in Haiti. She also received the award of “Exceptional Women of Excellence,” at the 2018 Annual Women Economic Forum, for her contribution to international development and humanitarian landscape, with special emphasis on empowerment, inclusiveness and inspiration among women and children. Her passion is to alleviate hunger, create food security spaces among underprivileged and vulnerable populations; and empower women to thrive in their communities. Edna holds a Bachelors in Agricultural Economics and a Masters in International Development and Administration from Andrew University, Michigan.

Rick Kearney

Chief Logistics and Engagement Officer

Rick Kearney has been with Rise Against Hunger since 2007. Bringing a background of banking, teaching, ministry and missions, Rick has applied his diverse skills and experiences in various roles within Rise Against Hunger.  Beginning as a Community Engagement Manager in Eastern North Carolina, Rick launched Rise Against Hunger’s second meal packaging location and subsequently worked in logistics, distribution, operations and community engagement. Rick is currently the Chief Logistics and Engagement Officer, working with the organization’s supply chain, operations, process improvement and community engagement teams. Rick strongly believes that passion may draw a person to Rise Against Hunger, but purpose and fulfillment will sustain them. Rick graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1983 with a B.S. in Business Administration.  Rick lives in Kinston, NC, with his wife, Susan, and son, Samuel.

Stephen Dille

Chief Financial Officer

Stephen Dille has 20+ years of international development and finance experience, having worked for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as Regional Financial Controller for 10 years in South Africa, Afghanistan and the Dominican Republic. In his role with USAID, he worked closely with local organizations, foreign governments, and public international organizations implementing projects in developing countries throughout the world.

In addition, Stephen developed capacity building projects designed to strengthen the financial management capabilities of nonprofit organizations and universities in several countries in the Caribbean and Southern Africa. Stephen managed the largest financial audit program in the U.S. government in Kabul, Afghanistan, while working to strengthen financial management capacity in the ministry of finance, education and in their local accounting profession. Prior to USAID, Steve held finance positions in restaurant management, medical manufacturing and banking.

Stephen holds a BA in Accounting from Louisiana State University and an MBA from Texas A&M. He is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the AICPA. Steve lives in Cary, N.C., with his wife Jodie and their four children.

Amy Lewis

Chief People Officer

Amy Lewis is a dynamic and results-oriented business professional with over 20 years of experience in human resources management, business operations and non-profit leadership. Working her way through college in the hospitality and retail industries, Amy gained operations and people management experience and ultimately migrated into her chosen field of human resource management. Since then, Amy has built a solid infrastructure of systems, processes, and programs for both non-profit and for-profit businesses where HR was broken or nonexistent. Amy has served as a strategic business partner using creative synergies to successfully lead and influence teams to achieve business results. A strategic thinker and excellent presenter with strong, proven problem-solving and project management skills, she has developed and enhanced HR programs and services across the spectrum of HR. Amy’s extensive financial management experience, full-cycle talent management, benefit plan design, compensation plan management, and technology system knowledge has made her an important contributor to the business’s success. Described as a natural leader who has an incredible ability to get things done, personable and passionate, Amy seeks out opportunities to improve business processes and systems.

Amy has an enormous passion for giving back to the community and has been actively involved in Raleigh-Wake Human Resource Management Association since 1997 serving over 10 years in a variety of leadership roles on the Board of Directors, including Chapter President. Amy has built membership and event management systems, strategic planning, designing and deploying website solutions and non-dues revenue generating programs and conferences. Amy was recognized for her extraordinary leadership with the Robert F McClain award in 2005 and was inducted into the NC HR Hall of Fame in 2016. Amy also enjoys time with family and friends, cooking, traveling, gardening and home improvement projects.

Jolynn Berk

Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

Along with a deep tenure at Rise Against Hunger, Jolynn Berk has nearly 30 years of marketing, advertising, brand, development and communications experience – across corporate, nonprofit and agency sectors. Throughout her career, she has a proven track record in building and leading teams to strategic, integrated solutions and consistently improved performance outcomes. Jolynn has led strategic campaign development, including total rebrand and product launches, for Fortune 500 companies, as well as the largest privately held company in the U.S.

At Rise Against Hunger, Jolynn oversees our Marketing & Communications portfolio and is responsible for developing, leading and executing marketing, communications and brand strategy to further our mission. Her primary contributions focus on further building our global brand proposition and driving contributed revenue through collaboration and support of our meal packaging business, donor fundraising and awareness initiatives. In addition to making a difference for those facing hunger around the world, Jolynn also has a passion for creating corporate and nonprofit partnerships – and developed the original strategy for Rise Against Hunger’s cause marketing model. A proud moment in her career was working alongside Kraft Heinz brand managers to engage a completely new audience of potential donors in the global hunger movement through a cause marketing campaign launched in Times Square.

Jolynn holds both a B.S. in Management and MBA from Friends University. She is a Certified Agency Account Manager, and has won professional awards from American Advertising Federation, Business Marketing Association Pro-Comm, Archive, Professional Pilot, Air Transport World and Hermes. A mom to three adult children, Jolynn empty nests with her husband George and Chloe the Yorkie in a Dallas burb.

Troy Robinson

Troy Robinson

Chief Development Officer

Troy Robinson joined Rise Against Hunger as Chief Development Officer in May 2020. In his role, he oversees the formulation and implementation of Rise Against Hunger’s development strategy, manages the annual fundraising portfolio and engages individual, foundation and corporate supporters.

With over 25 years of senior-level experience in development within the non-profit sector, Troy has a rich background in building business strategies and leading initiatives with innovative approaches to establish profitable fundraising campaigns. He has extensive experience in donor relations, major gifts, fundraising activities and strategic planning. Prior to joining the Rise Against Hunger team, Troy most recently served as Chief Development Officer of the organization Camp Fire. He has also served in fundraising roles for Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Holy Family Foundation, Youth Villages Inc. and Playworks Inc. Troy has a passion for advocacy and action, developing a strong track record throughout his career of creating resources and building relationships at all levels of government, industry and society to increase awareness and inspire individual and collective action.

Troy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric and Communications from Kent State University. He is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals and has served on the boards of several organizations, including Holy Family Foundation, Kyle Wilson Scholarship Fund and Urban Impact.

Rise Against Hunger Board of Directors

Bart Norman

Board Co-Chair

Bart Norman is a partner at Smith Anderson in Raleigh, North Carolina, and focuses his law practice on mergers and acquisitions and loan transactions for public and private companies and lenders. He has a BA from North Carolina State University, an M.Div. from Princeton Theological Seminary and a JD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He currently is a member of Smith Anderson’s management committee and lawyer development committee, and is co-chair of the commercial team.  Previously, he was on the board of directors of Transitions LifeCare (founded as Hospice of Wake County, 1979), where he was also the board secretary and chair of the governance committee, he was a member of the board of directors of Staff of Hope, a nonprofit focused on water and education in East Africa, and he was an elder and finance committee chair at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church. Bart and his wife, Cate, and their two sons, live in Cary, North Carolina, and currently attend White Memorial Presbyterian Church, where Cate is an associate pastor.

anne bander

Anne Bander

Board Co-Chair

Anne Grimsley Bander retired from North Carolina State Government in 2013. During her long career with the State, she served as Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Administration, where she was responsible for managing and monitoring the day-to-day activities and operations of the Department and taking a leadership role in the establishment of performance indicators; she also worked with the Office of the State Controller on a new data analytics program. Prior to her work with NCDOA and NCOSC, most of her career was with the North Carolina Office of State Budget and Management, where she was the Assistant State Budget Officer for Government Evaluation and Review, and where she had also served as the Assistant State Budget Officer for Education. She is the recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine.

Prior to coming to North Carolina, Anne worked for the American Bar Association, a major consulting firm, and the University of Maine.

A native of South Carolina, Anne lived in many places around the country and in Europe as an Army “brat.” She received a B.A. from the University of Maine at Orono and her M.A. from University College Dublin (part of the National University of Ireland).

Anne served on the Board of Trustees at Temple Beth Or, where she also served as Executive Director and Temple President, and long-time Finance Committee member. For over two decades, she also worked a regular route delivering Meals on Wheels.

After more than 30 years in North Carolina, Anne now resides in Beaufort, South Carolina, where she continues her volunteer work with Rise Against Hunger. She also volunteers as an adult literacy tutor, and with the local Meals on Wheels program.

david hood

David Hood

Board Treasurer

David is an audit partner with more than 20 years of public accounting experience at Ernst & Young. He has served both public and private clients primarily in the technology and life science industries. David has significant experience in coordinating audit and other services for strategic growth companies as well as large public companies with international operations. David has also been involved with equity and debt raising transactions for public and private clients, as well as merger and acquisition transactions on both the buy and sell side.

In addition to his public accounting experience, David worked outside the firm from 1993-2000 as VP Finance at Quintiles Transnational Corp., a Contract Research Organization (CRO). In his corporate role, he managed the financial portions of the IPO process for Quintiles’ successful IPO in April 1994. As part of his operations role, he oversaw the implementation of a consolidation system (Hyperion), ERP system (Peoplesoft) and the financial due diligence and subsequent integration of more than a dozen different acquisitions. He worked alongside the Quintiles Americas CRO Division CEO to manage revenue growth from $40 million to $400 million during his seven-year tenure at Quintiles. David has served several public companies including BTI Telecom, ChannelAdvisor (IPO), Consonus Technologies (IPO), Factory Stores of America (IPO), Ply Gem (IPO), Quintiles (IPO), Sciquest, Sensus, Spectrasite, Triangle Capital (IPO), and others. David earned his B.S. in Accounting from Guilford College in 1984 and is a CPA. He is a member of the AICPA and NCACPA. He is currently Chair of the Finance Committee for the Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED), Chair of the Audit Committee on the Guilford College Board of Trustees and past Chair of Finance (currently member of Trustees) at Highland United Methodist Church. David also chaired the Finance Committee for Waterpartners for several years starting in 2001.

Jessica Graham

Board Secretary

As Strategic Partnerships Manager for Cisco, Jessica supports Cisco’s Inclusion & Collaboration team, building partnerships to attract, retain, and develop full-spectrum diversity. Jessica also designs global programs that inspire Cisco employees to engage in volunteerism and philanthropic giving in their local communities. Cisco’s strategic impact areas focus on inclusive STEM education and closing the opportunity gap for women, girls and underrepresented minorities, anti-poverty work to support basic human needs, economic empowerment, and leveraging technology solutions to scale and amplify social innovation.

In the last five years, Cisco’s employee-driven matching gifts programs have generated over $60M for 3,600+ nonprofits globally by leveraging the time, talent, and treasure of 70,000 employees in 65+ countries.

Jessica has been with Cisco for seven years and has over 15 years of experience in diversity and inclusion, civic engagement and volunteer management with nonprofits, board stewardship, corporate volunteerism, and private/public partnerships.

Jessica earned dual B.A. degrees in English and Spanish from Oakwood College in Huntsville, Alabama, a Master’s in Education from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA, and an Executive Master in Policy Leadership from Georgetown University. An AmeriCorps alum, she remains dedicated to “getting things done” and serves on the National Board of Directors for Rise Against Hunger, an international hunger relief organization, and Adventure Girlz, a sports-based leadership program for Black girls. Jessica resides in Washington, D.C.

Greg Guidotti

Board Member

Greg Guidotti is the General Manager at Ferrara, where he currently leads the dynamic sugar confections portfolio, including such iconic candy brands as Trolli, SweeTARTS Black Forest, Lemonheads and Nerds.  Growing up in Stamford, Connecticut, Greg has a BA from Bates College in English & Spanish, and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Connecticut.  With over 25 years of experience across U.S. and international assignments with Grey Advertising, Gillette/P&G and Kraft Heinz, Greg has had the opportunity to lead many extraordinary brands like Oscar Mayer, Lunchables, P3, Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, Velveeta Shells & Cheese, Stove Top, Capri Sun, Kool-Aid, Post Cereals, Duracell Batteries & Gevalia Coffee. He is a highly skilled marketer, proven brand-builder and an expert in developing highly-functioning organizations. Greg currently resides in Wilmette, Illinois, with his wife Paige, along with their three children, Thomas, Peter and William.

Don Wight

Board Member

Don Wight is an operational sales leader with a proven track record of revenue creation and successfully scaling a sales organization in hyper-growth phase. Don focuses on scaling the Demandbase organization through improved sales process, laser focus on delivering more new customers and extending the company’s rapidly extending partner ecosystem. Wight is a dynamic leader, whose success is attributed to a collaborative approach, inquisitive nature and a commitment to deliver success through hard work and focus.

Prior to this role, Wight held leadership roles at Power Reviews (acquired by Bazaarvoice), Jaspersoft, Open Harbor and Netcentives, Inc. In these roles he was responsible for creating scale through growth, for dramatically increasing revenue and the customer-base, and for extending operations from North America to EMEA, LATAM and APAC. Don holds a BA in International Business from the University of California at Berkeley.

Dr. Anne L. Matthews

Board Member

Dr. Anne L. Matthews is president of Matthews and Associates, an educational consulting firm in Columbia, South Carolina. Anne is an educator by profession, a published author, an education accreditation commissioner and a public speaker. She has three earned degrees, including a doctorate from the University of South Carolina and an honorary doctorate from Coker College.  Anne served as president of several national educational organizations, including the National Business Education Association, and on numerous boards, including her undergraduate alma mater. She is the recipient of honors, including two appointments from U.S. President Ronald Reagan. Anne has spoken in all 50 states and 30 foreign countries on educational issues and/or The Rotary Foundation. She has served on NID teams and participated in humanitarian work in several developing countries. Anne’s passion is feeding the hungry and she is heavily involved in this effort in her state.

Anne has served Rotary in numerous capacities. These include: president of the Rotary Club of Columbia East; governor of D7770; COL delegate; International Assembly Trainer in Anaheim in 2003 and 2004; Zones 33 and 34 Institute Chair; Zone 33 Regional Rotary Foundation Coordinator; International Assembly Lead Seminar Trainer in San Diego 2008 and in 2009; D7770 Rotary Foundation Chair;  RI President’s Representative;  member of the Future Vision Committee; Moderator, Speaker and Panelist  RI Conventions; Chair, Rotary Reunion, New Orleans Convention; Trustee, The Rotary Foundation; RI Director, and RI Vice President in 2013-14.

Presently, Anne serves as vice chair of the Rotary Peace Centers Committee and the Polio Eradication Advocacy Task Force for the US. She also serves as a member of RI Finance Committee and the RI Investment Committee.

Anne is a Paul Harris Fellow, Major Donor, charter member of The Rotary Foundation Bequest Society, Benefactor, and a charter member of the Paul Harris Society in District 7770.

Abdullah Antepli

Board Member

Imam Antepli completed his basic training and education in his native Turkey. From 1996-2003 he worked on a variety of faith-based humanitarian and relief projects in Myanmar (Burma) and Malaysia with the Association of Social and Economic Solidarity with Pacific Countries. He is the founder and executive board member of the Association of College Muslim Chaplains (ACMC) and a board member of the Association for College and University Religious Affairs (ACURA). From 2003 to 2005 he served as the first Muslim chaplain at Wesleyan University. He then moved to Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, where he was the associate director of the Islamic Chaplaincy Program & Interfaith Relations, as well as an adjunct faculty member.

He previously served as Duke University first Muslim chaplain from July 2008 to 2014. In his current work at Duke, Antepli engages students, faculty, and staff across and beyond campus through seminars, panels, and other avenues to provide a Muslim voice and perspective to the discussions of faith, spirituality, social justice and more. Imam Antepli also serves as a faculty member in the Duke Divinity School, teaching a variety of courses on Islam and Muslim cultures.

William H. Willimon

Board Member

A bishop in the United Methodist Church, Professor Willimon served as the dean of Duke Chapel and professor of Christian ministry at Duke University for 20 years. He returned to Duke after serving as the bishop of the North Alabama Conference from 2004 to 2012. Willimon is the author of 70 books. His Worship as Pastoral Care was selected as one of the 10 most useful books for pastors in 1979 by the Academy of Parish Clergy. More than a million copies of his books have been sold. His articles have appeared in many publications including Theology Today, Interpretation, Liturgy, and Christianity Today. He is editor-at-large for The Christian Century. His book, Pastor: the Theology and Practice of Ordained Leadership is used in dozens of seminaries in the United States and Asia. He has taught in Germany, Singapore, New Zealand, and Australia in various seminaries. He is a trustee of Wofford College, Emory University and serves on the Dean’s Committee of Yale Divinity School.

Swati Patel

Board Member

Swati Patel is an Executive Director in Ernst & Young’s Advisory Services practice. As a member of this group, she serves as a trusted business advisor for her client C-suites. Swati has over 15 years of progressive business experience in assurance and business advisory services applying US& CDN GAAP.  She spent two years in the company’s national practice on an internal initiative as the key lead and project manager. Swati has very strong delivery and project management capabilities along with her technical competencies.

Ravila Gupta

Board Member

Ravila Gupta has over 15 years of experience in senior leadership roles, currently serving as the President and CEO of the Center for Entrepreneurial Development.  Prior to CED, Ravila was with Umicore, USA for nine years, first as its Legal Counsel and then as its President, beginning in 2011. Ravila also worked as a process/environmental engineer at government agencies and companies that included Tyco Electronics and the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. She began her career as an attorney at Ogletree Deakins, in Raleigh. A 26 year resident of North Carolina, Ravila is a member of the Raleigh Chamber of Commerce, serving on its Board of Directors from 2013 to 2016, and for a year on its Executive Committee. In addition to serving on our board, she is also a board member of the Nature Conservancy (NC Chapter), the National Association of CEOs, and the Duke University School of Nursing. Ravila has worked closely with entrepreneurial founders in the healthcare sector, providing guidance, mentorship, and business advice. Ravila graduated from McGill University with a Bachelors and Masters in Chemical Engineering and earned her Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University.

Caroline Martinez

Board Member

Caroline Martinez has 30+ years of experience in multiple disciplines including strategic planning, change management, program and project management, account and staff management, and business development.

She worked many years in management consulting helping customers understand how to implement strategy, see the”‘big picture,” solve complex issues and help manage organizational change.

Caroline serves as the Assistant Vice President of Digital Delivery for Latin America at MetLife and prior to that headed Enterprise Executive Education Programs. Her team won the PMI PMO of Year global award in November 2017. In the many years prior to MetLife, Caroline managed multi-million dollar consulting engagements focusing on Strategic Planning and Implementation, Change Management, Project Management Office (PMO) account delivery, and Corporate Training.

Caroline is actively involved in her community. She serves on the women’s leadership board at her church, facilitates women’s Christian retreats, serves on booster boards at her kids’ schools, volunteers at the NC Food Bank and Habitat for Humanity, and is involved with wildlife animal rescue as a licensed NC rehabber.
Caroline was born and raised in the Netherlands and immigrated to the USA in 1978. Because of her family roots in Europe and Asia, Caroline is involved globally with Compassion International and ChildFund International by sponsoring six children; both organizations serve children’s needs in the areas of education, food, medicine, and safety. Caroline, her husband, and their two teenagers live in Raleigh, N.C.

Peggy Bentley

Board Member

Dr. Peggy Bentley received her MA and PhD degrees in Medical Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. From 1985-98 she was on faculty in International Health at the Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University. Since 1998 she has been on faculty at the University of North Carolina, where she has held several leadership roles. Dr. Bentley’s research focuses on women and infant’s nutrition, infant and young child feeding, behavioral research on sexually transmitted diseases, HIV, and community-based interventions for nutrition and health. She has particular expertise in qualitative research methods and the application of these for program development and evaluation.

Dr. Bentley formerly led an NIH-funded intervention to improve child growth and development in Andhra Pradesh, India and currently leads an NIH-funded trial in North Carolina for prevention of obesity among infants and toddlers. She is Principal Investigator of a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant for analyses of nutrition data from the Breastfeeding, Antiretroviral and Nutrition (BAN) study. Dr. Bentley was a member of the Advisory Board of the Indo-US Joint Working Group on Maternal and Child Health and is a member of the ASPPH Global Health Committee. In 2005 she was named Paul G. Rogers Ambassador for Global Health and was the founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the Triangle Global Health Consortium. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Consortium for Universities in Global Health. Recently, she was elected as the UNC Faculty Director of the Duke-UNC Rotary Peace Fellows Program.

Jonathan Ireland

Board Member

Jonathan Ireland is vice president and chief financial
officer – commercial at United. In this role, Jonathan works closely with the airline’s commercial and IT teams to provide financial planning and analytical support with a profit-driven focus while also overseeing United’s investor relations department.

Jonathan has deep financial and leadership experience. He most recently served as managing director of investor relations where he oversaw all of United’s financial results communications, and managed relationships with United’s investors, analysts and credit rating agencies. He has also held positions in financial analysis and corporate budgeting.

He joined United in 2008 as an analyst in financial planning. Before joining United, Jonathan was a credit manager based in Guadalajara, Mexico for Opportunity International, a microfinance non-profit.

Jonathan was named Best IR Professional in Institutional Investor magazine’s 2016 All-America Executive Team. He received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Augustana College and his MBA from the University of Notre Dame. He currently leads United’s MBA and undergrad campus recruiting for the financial planning and analysis organizations.

Amanda Young

Board Member

Amanda Young is the Vice President of R&D for the Refrigerated Business Unit at The Kraft Heinz Company where she has responsibility for delivering product and packaging innovations across several major brands including Kraft, Cracker Barrel, Philadelphia, Velveeta, Oscar Mayer, Lunchables and P3. A Columbus, Ohio native, Amanda has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from The Ohio State University. She has over 23 years of experience in R&D and Quality Assurance roles across the U.S. and internationally with Procter & Gamble and The Kraft Heinz Company. Amanda currently resides in Highland Park, Illinois, with her husband Kane Doerfler, and their three children, Jake, Claire and Sam.

Our Founder

Ray Buchanan: A vision to end world hunger

In 1998, envisioning a world without hunger, Ray Buchanan — a United Methodist minister — founded Rise Against Hunger (formerly Stop Hunger Now). After enlisting as a U.S. Marine during the Vietnam War, Ray Buchanan quickly recognized that accomplishing a mission required “commitment to something larger than yourself.” Over the past three decades, that principle has driven Ray’s mission to eradicate world hunger.

As a divinity graduate student at Duke University, Ray began working with the poor and hungry. He continued that work at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received his master’s degree in divinity, and as a pastor at five rural United Methodist churches in Virginia. As a pastor, Ray joined the effort to assist Ethiopians who were suffering during the country’s 1973-75 famine.

Driving Ray’s hunger work is the recognition that “ending hunger is more than just feeding people.” So Rise Against Hunger “focuses its feeding programs in areas where we can see transformational development,” he says.

Ray embodies the ideal of a servant leader. And he understands that volunteers and organizations working together can build a global movement that will stimulate the political will to marshal the resources that are essential — and available — to eradicate hunger.

Rise Against Hunger has realized positive, annual growth mainly through expansion of the meal packaging program into new communities. Rise Against Hunger continues to further Ray’s legacy of commitment both to domestic and international crisis response including relief from famine, natural and manmade disasters and health epidemics.