Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship

A one year fellowship through the Congressional Hunger Center for individuals seeking to make a difference in the struggle to eliminate hunger and poverty.

Emerson Fellowship: At a Glance


  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents
  • Fourth-year students and alumni

Selection Criteria:

  • Commitment to ending hunger, poverty and racism
  • Demonstrated leadership qualities and skills
  • Experience working in low-income communities
  • Enthusiasm for learning from peers and experts in the field

Candidates for the Bill Emerson Fellowship can affirm the following statements:

  • I can demonstrate my commitment to racial equity and social justice.
  • I have research, evaluation, organizing, advocacy, outreach, public education and/or problem-solving experiences and skills.
  • I wish to become an agent for change working on national anti-hunger and anti-poverty policy.

Extensive Description

This is a unique leadership development opportunity for individuals committed to social change. Each year, 16-20 participants are selected for this 11-month program. Fellows are placed for half of their term of service with urban and rural community-based organizations all over the US. Examples include grassroots organizing groups, food banks, economic development agencies, city governments, food policy councils, and local advocacy organizations.

Fellows then move to DC to complete the year with national organizations involved in the anti-hunger and poverty movement, including national advocacy organizations, think tanks and federal agencies.

One of the goals of the Emerson National Hunger Fellowship Program is to develop effective leaders with a deep understanding of hunger and poverty at both the local and national levels that will enable them to find innovative solutions and create the political will to end hunger.

Benefits: living stipend for 11 months, free housing at field site placements, and additional housing stipend during the DC placement, health insurance and an end-of-service award

Deadline Information

Deadline: Monday, January 11, 2021


Fellows participate in intensive training, workshops and retreats.

Eligibility Requirements

US citizenship or permanent residency is required. This is a highly competitive fellowship, and criteria for selection include a Bachelor's degree, commitment to social justice, demonstrated leadership and skills, and creativity and initiative in problem solving.

Successful applicants have demonstrated both academic excellence (e.g. Phi Beta Kappa) and a commitment to social justice and service.

Application Process

Apply online using the opportunity's online application form found here.