The Anti-Hunger Corps is a year-long AmeriCorps VISTA project sponsored by Hunger Free America in conjunction with the Cuba Cultural Center, Foodlink, San Diego Hunger Coalition, and the Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative. The Anti-Hunger Corps VISTA program aims to address hunger, poverty, and build the capacity of the agencies that address these issues. Members assist unemployed and under-employed people obtain job training, job placement, and financial literacy services; improve access to food from government and nonprofit sources; enable residents of food deserts to access healthier foods through farmers markets and community gardens; grow the number of low-income children able to obtain free school breakfasts and summer meals; help nonprofit groups fighting hunger and poverty to raise more money; and recruit and manage more volunteers, particularly high-impact and skilled. Below are the Anti-Hunger Corps 2019-2020 members.
Kayla Juntilla, VISTA Leader
Kayla is from Las Vegas, Nevada and is a 2019 graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She was inspired to become an AmeriCorps VISTA because of the amazing work that she saw her close friends do at their sites. She also wanted to support her community that has been deeply affected by hunger and poverty. Her Drama degree taught her incredible life skills like collaboration, perseverance, sustainability, and quality in work. She is deeply passionate about Hunger Free America's mission and believes that advocating for others and directly serving them is one of the most important ways to see results. From 2019-2020, Kayla served as the Development Associate VISTA member with Hunger Free America and now serves as one of three VISTA Leaders for the Anti-Hunger Corps, recruiting new members and serving as a peer-to-peer mentor.
Jordan is currently the Community Health AmeriCorps VISTA at Foodlink in her hometown of Rochester, New York. She graduated from Cornell University in May 2019 with a degree in Human Biology, Health and Society, which is under Cornell's division of nutritional sciences. Her interest in food justice work began early on and became especially apparent when she was working at a youth summer camp, where she served children of many different backgrounds. Prior to becoming an AmeriCorps member, she worked as a Curbside Market Operator for Foodlink. She drove a truck loaded up with fresh fruits and veggies to areas that had limited access to fresh produce. With these experiences, Jordan saw first-hand the inequality in food access and nutrition. During her year as a VISTA, she is hoping to gain more understanding of how community-based initiatives that focus on increased access to and knowledge of nutritious foods can lead to healthier communities.
Bennett is originally from Southern California and is currently an Anti-Hunger Corps VISTA serving with San Diego Hunger Coalition specializing in local capacity building and food security outreach. She believes access to food security should be treated as a basic human right. She is motivated by her life changes and experiences in communities where having enough food for an active, healthy life were not readily available. Before joining the hunger coalition, she was a Global Citizen Year Fellow in Ecuador and later worked as a legal assistant for the New York City Department of Social Services Human Resource Administration. She obtained a Masters of Arts degree in International Affairs and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Global, Environmental and Hispanic Studies from the New School in New York City with fieldwork experience in Cuba, Japan, Kenya, and Poland. Once her service year ends, Bennett hopes to pursue a position with an international non-profit that is dedicated to upholding human rights and building local capacities to address issues of mobility and food security.
Dave is starting his 3rd VISTA term at the Cuba Cultural Center in Cuba, NY. He has more than 25 years of experience in the workforce and chose to close out his professional career by serving with AmeriCorps. He has an A.A.S. Degree in Business Administration from Jamestown Community College. His current role is Resource and Partnership Developer. He has served most of the last 5 years as a volunteer in Food Security Programs at the Cuba Cultural Center. His goal this term is to help gain valuable community resources and community partnerships for the center.
Guadalupe is from Orland Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She graduated from Augustana College in 2017 with a BA in Biology and Spanish with a minor in Latin American Studies. While still in school, she took an interest in traditional intercrop farming in Latin America and the differences among farm systems in the United States. Some positions she has held in relation to agriculture are working at an agricultural lab tending crops, helping to set up and run a farmers market, packaging CSA boxes, and working with a local beekeeper. Her interest in agriculture combined with her previous jobs led to her interest in hunger because it had been hard to understand how many people go hungry through statistics alone. Working at Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative as an HFA AmeriCorps VISTA, she hopes to learn about the connections between working with agriculture and the tools needed for community outreach and program planning.
Jacqueline is from San Diego, California. She’s had the opportunities to volunteer her time with charitable and non-profit organizations like Feeding San Diego, Ladle Fellowship Soup Kitchen and International Volunteer Headquarters. Her experiences at these organizations helped her better understand the need for safe access to affordable, nutritious food and nutrition resources. Her current role at the San Diego Hunger Coalition involves supporting the Hunger Free Kids Taskforce with increasing access to Summer Meals, after school supper, and Breakfast in the Classroom. She graduated with a B.S. in Foods and Nutrition with minor credits in Counseling and Social Change from San Diego State University. Learning about and experiencing health disparities in her community influenced her interest in Public Health and volunteer work. As a VISTA, she aims to contribute her energy towards projects geared at reducing health disparities across San Diego County and to connect with like-minded individuals.
Anna got her bachelor’s degree from Indiana Wesleyan University. She has been working and volunteering with several different non-profit and community-based organizations throughout the last 20 years. Currently, she is working at Cuba Cultural Center to increase confidence and skills in communication with her Speaking up Matters (SUM) program, and she will also continue gathering information for the GotFood app. She grew up poor and has experienced food insecurity many times in her life. She never wanted to see anyone go hungry or struggle to make ends meet. She jumped at the chance to help others in that area. She hopes to gain understanding of what affected people are experiencing, as well as helping people to value their own voice. She wants to help empower people to speak for themselves, and also wants to increase the resources available to those who are hungry or food insecure.
Samenna is the current Strategic Volunteer Coordinator VISTA. She plays a leadership role in upgrading the HFA's website. In addition, she is responsible for engaging strategic and skills-based volunteers to use www.hungervolunteer.org nationally to increase the number of volunteers fighting hunger and poverty. For as long as she could remember, she's always had a passion for giving back to the community. At the age of 6, Samenna remembers going to the soup kitchen and food pantries with her father. It broke her heart to see the reality of so many people suffering to get a meal a day, which is an act that people normally take for granted. Because of this, she decided to study nutrition further and after receiving her bachelor's in nutrition, She's motivated to open my own nonprofit organization. Samenna is honored to be a part of HFA team and excited to fight poverty with an amazing organization!