JESS KURTI RECOGNIZED AS FIRST-EVER VOLUNTEER TO VISIT EVERY FEEDING AMERICA FOOD BANK
CHICAGO – April 11, 2019 – Feeding America is proud to recognize Jess Kurti as the first-ever volunteer to visit all 200 food banks in the organization’s hunger-relief network. In Feeding America’s nearly 40-year history, there has not been any record of a person to accomplish this task.
“We are inspired by Jess and her amazing journey across the country to volunteer at every Feeding America food bank,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “Through her travels, she has seen firsthand what hunger in America looks like and the incredible impact that volunteers can make.”
Fredericksburg Regional Food Bank hosted Kurti for her 200th volunteer visit on Thursday, April 11. During her visit, Kurti toured the facility, volunteered at a mobile pantry distribution, and helped packed food boxes for seniors and had lunch at MICAH Community Café.
Kurti’s journey began five years ago when she volunteered at Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida in Orlando. While there she asked President & CEO Dave Krepcho if anyone had ever volunteered at all 200 food banks. The answer was “no” and that is how her Beast of Burden Challenge began.
“It's overwhelming to even consider that I’ve just completed this unprecedented goal for which I dedicated the past five years of my life,” Jess Kurti said. “I hope I've inspired people to look closer within our neighborhoods to identify who may be struggling, how we can help, and to think of new ways to fight hunger. Do what you can wherever you are because no effort is too small in the fight against hunger.”
Over the past five years, Kurti has traveled the U.S., volunteering at food banks with the
mission of raising awareness of the nation’s charitable food system and the fight against hunger. Through volunteering and local outreach, Kurti inspires everyday people to make an impact in their communities by donating food, money and time.
Kurti is also raising awareness of the connection between health and hunger by running marathons along the way. She ran marathons in all 50 states and on March 17 completed her 100th marathon – the Bataan Memorial Death March in White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico – since beginning this journey.
“We hope Jess’ story can inspire others to seek out opportunities in their communities to make a difference and volunteer,” Babineaux-Fontenot said. “If every person volunteered even once at their local food bank, imagine what a difference we could make in the lives of millions of hungry people.”