This week, Feeding America, the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity, awarded Natalie Jayroe, President and CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana, the 2018 Dick Goebel Public Service Award for outstanding commitment to ending hunger in her community and across the country.
The award was announced Monday, February 26 at the 2018 National Anti-Hunger Policy conference, a gathering in Washington, D.C. of anti-hunger advocates, sponsored by Feeding America and the Food Research Action Center (FRAC).
Feeding America President Matt Knott remarked during the presentation, “Natalie has spent more than 20 years in the food bank world, serving in capacities that range from founder, board member, and currently President and CEO. Over the years, her extraordinary leadership has been critical in getting her community through times of crisis. From the significant Katrina disaster response, to the BP Oil Spill, and the 2016 flooding, Natalie has helped those she serves as well as her fellow network members in difficult times.”
Knott went on to say, “Natalie understands the role that effective advocacy plays in not only helping communities recover from weather-related disasters, but how advocacy is necessary for recovery from economic disasters. She has also served on Feeding America’s Policy Engagement and Advocacy Committee since 2011, providing critical leadership and guidance to her peers and to Feeding America.”
Second Harvest Board Chair Patricia Weeks echoed Knott’s thoughts.
“Well done, Feeding America, for choosing our own Natalie Jayroe for this significant award,” Weeks said. “We are as proud of Natalie today as we are happy for our community that we have her. Her tireless work on behalf of our neighbors is an inspiration to us all. Personally and on behalf of the entire Board, Natalie, my heartfelt congratulations, and thank you for all you do to fight hunger in South Louisiana.”
Jayroe became the president and CEO of the Second Harvest Food Bank in January 2006, just months after Hurricane Katrina flood waters devastated the city. Prior to joining Second Harvest, she worked with food banks as Founder, Board, and Executive – for 23 years. In 2007, she was named one of City Business’ Women of the Year. In 2008 she received Mazon’s Irving Cramer Award and was a graduate of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute. She was named a Young Leadership Council Role Model and City Business Money Maker in 2011, and participated in the Leadership Louisiana class of 2012.
The Dick Goebel Public Service Award was created in 2001 in honor of the Reverend Richard (Dick) Goebel for his many years of public service on behalf of hungry Americans. As founder and executive director of the Second Harvest St. Paul Food Bank in St. Paul, Minn. (now Second Harvest Heartland), Dick’s dedicated service left a lasting legacy. Recipients of the Dick Goebel Public Service Award exemplify service to their communities, extensive public policy advocacy, and tireless enthusiasm and creativity in developing solutions to ending hunger both locally and nationally.