Each year Feeding America honors network members and leaders for their distinguished contributions toward Feeding America’s mission to end hunger in America. This year’s Hunger’s Hope Awards were presented during Feeding America’s recent Network Leadership Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Houston Food Bank was named the 2015 Member of the Year. The award is given to the year’s most outstanding food bank.
The Houston Food Bank was recognized for its commitment to community engagement, increasing the number of nutritious meals distributed to clients and continuous improvement of operational efficiency.
Pam Irvine, president and CEO of Feeding America Southwest Virginia, was named Feeding America 2015 Network Leader of the Year. The award recognizes extraordinary and exemplary leadership and service by an executive director/CEO in the Feeding America network.
Irvine is founder of Feeding America Southwest Virginia. She was cited for actively representing the Feeding America network values of respect, stewardship, accountability, collaboration, urgency, service, integrity and diversity. Despite limited resources and no full-time staff for policy work, Irvine has made an abiding commitment to advocacy, and previously was named the 2014 Dick Goebel Public Service Award winner by Feeding America.
Feeding America Southwest Virginia distributed 20 million pounds of food to 400 meal and grocery programs last year.
Al Brislain, executive director of the Harry Chapin Food Bank, was the recipient of the 2015 John van Hengel Fellowship. The annual award honors the ideals of the late John van Hengel, who developed the concept of food banking in the 1960s, and recognizes an executive director of a member food bank for his or her excellence in leadership, local impact and national influence, and commitment and entrepreneurial spirit in the area of hunger relief.
Brislain has worked in food banking for 40 years. During the presentation of his award, it was said, “He will not accept that anyone should go hungry, but he is also dedicated to making sure we do it right. Al has helped the food bank movement grow and mature as we needed to step up.”