Claire Babineaux-Fontenot on the Opportunity of COVID-19
Can the current pandemic strengthen our resolve to eradicate hunger? Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot describes what she is witnessing...
About This EpisodeCan the current pandemic strengthen our resolve to eradicate hunger? Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot describes what she is witnessing on the frontlines of the escalating hunger crisis caused by COVID-19 and the opportunities it presents. “There are lots of opportunities in this pandemic to come out of it better than we were going into it,” she says, referring to the increased public awareness of hunger in America. “Do you really want four-mile-long lines [outside food banks] or would you prefer, as I do, to provide people with the dignity where they can go into a grocery store just like the rest of us?” she asks. She also encourages all of us to be informed voters. “I think we have a responsibility to be well informed about what the people who represent us that we elect, where they stand on issues like hunger,” she concludes.
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Claire Babineaux-Fontenot is CEO of Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization and second-largest U.S. charity according to Forbes. Prior to joining Feeding America, Babineaux-Fontenot spent 13 years as a part of Walmart’s leadership team most recently as executive vice president and global treasurer. Before Walmart, she was partner-in-charge of the Baton Rouge office and tax practice leader for Adams and Reese LLP, one of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Law Firms.” Earlier in her career, she was dispute resolution practice group leader for the southwest region at PwC (formerly PricewaterhouseCoopers) and an assistant secretary for the Office of Legal Affairs for the State of Louisiana. Babineaux-Fontenot has volunteered in the fight against hunger and other causes since her youth. She served on a number of nonprofit boards including the Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children, the board of directors and audit committee for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, and the board of trustees and finance and audit committee for the National Urban League and the National Association of Black Accountants.
Mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and engage our country in the fight to end hunger. For more than 35 years, Feeding America has responded to the hunger crisis in America by providing food to people in need through a nationwide network of food banks. The national organization for food banks was established in 1979 as Second Harvest, which was later called America’s Second Harvest the Nation’s Food Bank Network. In 2008, the network changed its name to Feeding America to better reflect the mission of the organization. Today, Feeding America is the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization—a powerful and efficient network of 200 food banks across the country. The Feeding America network of food banks feeds 46 million people at risk of hunger, including 12 million children and 7 million seniors.