No Kid Hungry

Rachel Sabella, Director of No Kid Hungry New York

Last Wednesday, as part our #VBGIVESBACK partnership with No Kid Hungry, we held a volunteer session at our offices and stores worldwide so our team could pay it forward even more. We wrote thank-you letters to school leaders and food nutrition service staff, the change-makers making sure our children get the food they need. We also hosted a Lunch & Learn with Rachel Sabella, Director of No Kid Hungry New York, at VB HQ. Below, we chatted with her ahead of the talk—and, to send your own notes of gratitude to the frontline Hunger Heroes in your area, click here.


On the Hunger Crisis

Nobody should have to struggle to put food on their table. No parent should have to skip a meal. No child should be embarrassed to get a meal at their school.

Many people feel a stigma when faced with food insecurity. They don't want to admit these challenges. And over the last few years in New York, between the COVID-19 crisis and the economic crisis, families are stretched. A recent survey that we did found two in five families were struggling to put food on the table in New York.

What I want people to know is this crisis is real. We need to do everything we can to ensure people are treated with dignity and have regular access to meals.

On Hunger Heroes

No Kid Hungry started working with partners across New York City to recognize Hunger Heroes, those individuals who work each and every day to provide kids with regular access to meals in school cafeterias. We have had the incredible honor of meeting people who slept in a school building after Hurricane Sandy to make sure the children in their building continued to receive meals. In Queens, I visited a community that had a devastating fire. These Hunger Heroes were bringing school meals to those families that had been relocated.

I continue to be inspired each time I meet someone, whether it's a cook who’s trying a new recipe or the meal helpers who are looking for new ways to pass out meals and make sure kids are eating their breakfast. “Not all heroes wear capes – some wear aprons!”

On Her Own Inspiration to Give Back

My grandmother worked until she was 75 as a cafeteria manager in the New York City Public schools, primarily in Brooklyn. So, some of my earliest memories are going into school kitchens with her, and hearing her stories about kids who may have had a tough day or the kids that love to ask for seconds. She was so proud of her food and her role. As I keep going back to the theme of personal connections, when I honor Hunger Heroes, so much of that is in her memory.

“We need to do everything we can to ensure people are treated with dignity and have regular access to meals.”

Veronica Beard is partnering with No Kid Hungry to help end childhood hunger. For every purchase on between 10/1/23 and 12/21/23, $5 will be donated to No Kid Hungry with a minimum guarantee of $300,000. Learn more here.