Joel Berg

Executive Director, New York City Coalition Against Hunger

Joel Berg is author of the book All You Can Eat: How Hungry Is America?. He is currently executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger, a nationally-renowned service and advocacy nonprofit organization that represents New York City's 1,100 soup kitchens and food pantries, and serves as the voice for the 1.4 million food insecure New Yorkers. The Coalition runs a national AmeriCorps VISTA program, the Anti-Hunger & Opportunity Corps, as well as a national volunteerism initiative, Ending Hunger Through Citizen Service. The Nation called NYCCAH, "One of the leading direct service and advocacy organizations on hunger and poverty in the nation." Mr. Berg was formerly also a Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress.

Before joining the Coalition in 2001, Berg served for eight years in the Clinton Administration in senior executive service positions at USDA. For two years, he worked as USDA Community Coordinator of Community Food Security, a new position, in which he created and implemented the first-ever federal initiative to better enable faith-based and other nonprofit groups to fight hunger, bolster food security, and help low-income Americans move from poverty to self-sufficiency.

He was USDA Coordinator of Food Recovery and Gleaning the previous two years, working with community groups to increase the amount of food recovered, gleaned, and distributed to hungry Americans. Also while at the USDA, he served as Director of National Service, Director of Public Liaison, and as acting Director of Public Affairs and Press Secretary. From 1989 to 1993, he served as a policy analyst for the Progressive Policy Institute and a domestic policy staff member for the President-elect Bill Clinton’s transition team.

Berg has published widely on the topics of hunger, national and community service, and grassroots community partnerships. A native of Rockland County, NY, and a 1986 graduate of Columbia University, Berg now resides in Brooklyn. He is the past winner of the US Secretary of Agriculture’s Honor Award for Superior Service and the Congressional Hunger Center’s Mickey Leland National Hunger Fighter Award.