LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Jan. 10, 2018) – The Lift a Life Foundation and the Community Foundation of Louisville will host a Breakfast Meet & Greet event on Thursday, Jan. 18, to introduce Monique Kuykendoll Quarterman as their 2018 Hunger Innovation Fellow. The event is free and open to the public, and will be held at Manhattan on Broadway, 716 E. Broadway, from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
“In Louisville, Ky., there are people who do not have easy access to quality, nutritious food, which we believe is a right,” said Susan Barry, president & CEO, Community Foundation of Louisville. “In many communities, including our own, nonprofits and their partners are making tremendous strides towards solutions, but we felt there was more to be done.”
The Foundations collaborated to conduct a nationwide search for the 12-month, $100,000 fellowship, which was announced in October. They sought an innovator with the potential to see food access through a different lens. The Hunger Innovation Fellowship’s primary goal is to accelerate and elevate Louisville’s collective efforts to addressing food insecurity by identifying areas of investment and sustainable, systems-level changes that will make the greatest collective impact.
Quarterman was selected for her experience as a program manager and consultant of innovative growth initiatives. She is a co-founder and organizer of Louisville’s Diversity Pitch Fest, a grassroots, economic development initiative supporting minority entrepreneurs. During her tenure as University of Louisville’s Innovation Unit Project Manager, she managed UofL’s Innovation & Economic Prosperity Designation. She intends to apply knowledge and best practices from entrepreneurship and academic research to the challenge of food insecurity. She has a strong desire to learn about the complexity of improving food access from local experts.
“Monique undoubtedly has the skill and competence to lead this work,” said Ashley Butler, executive director of the Lift a Life Foundation. “I believe her status as a food insecurity outsider will be a tremendous asset to uncovering solutions that may even inspire change for communities facing similar challenges.”
During the fellowship, Quarterman will build relationships with key stakeholders in the public, private and civic sectors to fully understand efforts addressing food insecurity in Louisville. She will meet with both local leaders and recipients of services to identify strengths, inventory services and uncover gaps. In collaboration with these stakeholders, Quarterman will assist the community in developing implementable strategies that will significantly improve collective efforts to reduce food insecurity.
“Too much of Louisville suffers from hunger and food insecurity. No more. Through this partnership, I hope to help those in need and make Louisville a better, healthier city,” said Quarterman.
Approximately 13 local non-profit organizations, corporate leaders and public health representatives participated in the selection process. “Monique has great experiences and a positive drive that will accelerate the work. Her awareness of cultural planning and an understanding about technology is also relevant and important,” said Dr. Brandy Kelly-Pryor, director of the Center for Health Equity.
Quarterman is excited to get started and encourages anyone interested in helping address food insecurity to attend the Jan. 18 Meet & Greet. “This effort can’t succeed without you – the community,” she said. “Together, we can make Louisville a healthier, more food-accessible place.”