We’re excited to introduce you to Kianna!
First Youth Food Council Catalyst Joins the Team!
Youth are our future leaders and are very aware of the need for systems-level change and an interdisciplinary approach. They seek out new relationships to learn from each other and collaborate. We heard this desire for increased connection across youth food councils last year, and started to convene calls to support this growing voice. We quickly saw an opportunity for one of them to lead this work.
Four months later, with support from the community to create and hire for this position, Community Food Strategies is thrilled to introduce Kianna Harrison as our first Youth Food Council Catalyst!
Kianna is from Raleigh, NC and is currently a senior in high school. “My goal is to strengthen youth knowledge about food insecurity and to help foster strengthened relationships between food councils. I believe it is now more important than ever to be involved with youth who may feel disconnected from their peers. As a youth, I have found it integral to understand the concept of food and how people of different communities are affected by it. I am absolutely thrilled to have a role in which I can connect youth and address relevant issues within the food security realm.”
Of the nearly 40 food councils across North Carolina, two youth food councils are particularly impressive with their innovation, community engagement, and desire to connect with others doing similar work. Grow-K Youth Council of A Better Chance, A Better Community (ABC2) in Halifax and Northampton counties and the Youth Ambassadors of Men & Women United for Youth and Families (MWUYF) in Columbus and Bladen counties are the two youth food councils that have engaged in the NC food council network for several years. Multiple food-related youth organizations are active across the state, including several dynamic county 4-H programs and other initiatives that are just starting up. Many of these groups connect through CEFS Food Youth Initiative (FYI).
The goal of the Youth Food Council Catalyst position is to create connections and community between youth-led food council groups, thus building a stronger youth food network across the state. Kianna is convening youth councils now to have conversations about how that network can best serve individual youth groups while ore broadly creating more capacity for youth leadership and voices in food councils and food advocacy.
We are thankful to have Kianna on the Community Food Strategies team and for this position to support a stronger youth voice in food justice work across North Carolina.