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Michele Zurakowski, PhD

Michele Zurakowski, Ph.D., has shepherded Beyond Hunger’s transformation over the past two decades from a small food pantry to a multi-faceted anti-hunger service agency reaching beyond the basement where the food pantry is located and into the community where hunger lives. Some of the programs developed under her leadership include Summer Meals for children, Home Delivery for older adults and people with disabilities, Social Service benefits connection, and a Pop-Up food pantry serving a suburban immigrant population. She inaugurated an aggressive food rescue program, recruiting local merchants to donate over 200,000 pounds of perishable groceries and 20,000 meals from cafeterias each year. In 2012, she launched an innovative Nutrition Education program that is now nationally recognized as a model for community engagement and health-forward food access. Michele is an ardent food and nutrition security advocate, working to alter policies and create a more racially equitable food system.