Hunger Squad scholar leads efforts to solve hunger in her community

How many people do you know who run two non-profit organizations while going to school full-time, volunteering regularly, participating in college extracurricular activities AND working a part-time job? Gleaners knows at least one! And she still manages to get a full night’s worth of sleep to boot.

No, she isn’t Beyoncé but 20 year-old (yes, 20!) Brianna Moore certainly doesn’t need the reminder that we all have the same hours in the day as Queen Bey.

Brianna, an Oak Park native, is a junior at Michigan State University, majoring in International Relations with a minor in Peace and Justice. After she graduates, she plans to obtain a master’s degree in Social Justice and Community Development. She hopes to work with the federal government to help make a difference in communities that are plagued by hunger and environmental issues while also helping those who lack adequate housing. And on top of all that, Brianna said she’d like to return to her own community to open outreach programs that will help people who suffer from hunger and lack adequate medical needs – all while helping to repair the breakdown in the educational system.

As a former 10-year member of the Boys and Girls Club, Brianna is no stranger to hunger and the impact it can have on children. During her years as a member, she took notice of children who came to the club after school with little access to healthy meals and snacks. The club partnered with Gleaners during the summer to provide nutritious food to its members and Brianna helped distribute summer lunches each year.

“I knew I had to do something to help others who were at risk of facing hunger when they returned home,” Brianna said. “As a club member and recipient of those summer meals, I could see the difference it made.”

As her involvement in the community grows, Brianna continues to branch out to stay engaged all year long. In addition to distributing summer meals at the Fauver-Martin Boys and Girls Club, she sponsors blood drives for American Red Cross and bone marrow drives for Be the Match Foundation, and works part-time supervising young children at a childhood development center. Because that isn’t quite enough for her, Brianna also started her own non-profit organization, Operation Warm Up/Warm Heart.

Operation Warm Up/Warm Heart helps to provide clothes and food to homeless citizens. They deliver food to Cass Corridor in Detroit and they collect food and funds for Ronald McDonald House. The non-profit also sponsors a Saturday morning pancake breakfast for children who attend the Boys and Girls Club in Highland Park and supplies local schools with hats and gloves for children who have to walk in inclement weather during winter.

Brianna is also the founder of a non-profit called Green Life Saver Recycle Foundation. Through this program, she works to keep parks and riverbanks clean by collecting debris and cigarette butts in the Metro Detroit Area.

Her efforts don’t end there, though. According to Brianna, her experiences working with the Boys and Girls Club and Operation Warm Up/Warm Heart only motivate her more.

“Through my work, I’ve personally seen and known individuals who are constantly faced with hunger,” she said. “It tends to have a devastating effect on you when you know some of these people personally. It drives me to continue providing avenues for those at risk.”

In her senior year of high school, Brianna learned all about the expenses most college-bound students face and was encouraged to apply for as many scholarships as possible. Her research brought her to Sodexo. The Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation is governed by the Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger foundation and it gives recognition to students who are devoted to helping solve hunger within their communities and all around the world.

Brianna applied for the scholar program each year, receiving accolades until she reached the highest award level in 2016. In 2014 and 2015, she was selected as an honoree, which granted her $1,000 each year to donate to a charity of her choice. This year, she was selected as one of the 20ish Under 20ish Hunger Squad, an honor that awarded Brianna with a $5,000 scholarship as well as a $5,000 grant to donate. She chose Gleaners as the recipient of all three grants.

Gleaners is proud to be the recipient of Brianna’s efforts and thrilled with the enormous impact she’s made so far. Her impressive determination to help solve hunger and other issues in her community is incredibly inspiring (and maybe even a little intimidating!) but she encourages everyone to do what they can to help make a difference.

“People just need to make a move to make a difference, which could mean anything from reaching out to one person in need or sponsoring an entire community food drive,” said Brianna. “If everyone could just take that first step, we could create a global effect in helping to stop hunger.”