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Student Opportunities

There are a number of ways in which students may become involved in the activities of the Hunger Center; employees, outreach workers, or volunteers, or through a variety of activities for credit.


Opportunities are frequently available for students to work in the center or out in the community. Office workers assist staff in all aspects of the outreach project, developing materials, tracking data, and preparing for trainings.  Outreach workers are trained to work with community agencies to educate and assist low-income individuals about nutritional assistance programs available to them and their families. Volunteer opportunities may exist within the community at-large as well.

For more information on student employment within the center, contact Maria Cimini, 401-874-5660

Contact Katie West, 401-874-7032 for SNAP Outreach employment





Internships / Independent Study / Honors Thesis

Students may receive credits for "hands on" education with an individual project or group collaboration.

Many students are required, through their major or minor area of study to complete independent study credits or an internship. These may be arranged through their department and in conjunction with the Hunger Center. Students may propose a topic of study or they may solicit ideas from the staff at the center. Examples of activities in which independent study/interns have participated include writing press releases, researching policy initiatives both locally and nationally, compiling data on specific hunger-related topics for publication, developing our web site, conducting literature reviews and/or data analysis of specific research related questions.

In addition, students have become involved in research projects including interviewing low-income families with young children, the elderly, and the working poor as well as those who work with these individuals in service fields. Many of these projects are conducted in coordination with other RI agencies, for example, the RI Community Food Bank, the RI Health Department and the RI Department of Human Services.

Other courses require a community service component and again, these efforts can be arranged through the Hunger Center in conjunction with faculty members. Students may volunteer at local food pantries, soup kitchens, or food distribution sites or they may become actively engaged in a specific hunger-related event (e.g., food drive, hunger banquet, conference participation).

For information about for-credit opportunities, contact  Professor Kathleen Gorman.


Students who have or are in the process of completing an internship, independent study, or Honors Thesis include (partial list):

  • Amanda Algarin, Psychology & Family Studies, Hunger Center Intern, Spring 2010
  • Andrea Russell, Pharmacy, Honors Project Thesis, Fall 2009

  • Ana Orellana, Human Development & Family Studies, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Outreach Project Intern, Fall 2009
  • Jenny Allen, Human Development & Family Studies, Intern at Jonnycake Center of Peace Dale, RI, Summer 2009

  • Nicole Gunderson, Music, Spring 2007


Dorothy Shackleton Anti-Hunger Leadership Award

On May 6, 2011, graduating senior Jenna Berube was presented with the Dorothy Shackleton Anti-hunger Leadership Award for her outstanding work at the URI Feinstein Center for a Hunger Free America. Jenna, who graduated with three degrees in Journalism, Sociology, and Women's Studies in May, grew up in Burrillville, RI and began working as an outreach worker in the fall of 2008. As an outreach worker, she has spent the past three years preparing packets and flyers for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) outreach workers to take out into the community, and most recently helped to write and record a radio commercial. After graduation, Jenna hopes to continue her work with non-profit organizations utilizing the many connections she has made throughout the community during her time at the Hunger Center.

The Anti-Hunger Leadership Award is given to students who demonstrate extensive knowledge of hunger and poverty issues and who use their skills to participate in education and outreach activities in the community. The fund was started with a donation by Dorothy Shackleton, a former employee with the Department of Human Services.


Previous recipients have included:

  • Beth Wilmarth, Spring 2005, Human Development & Family Studies
  • Lauren Wagner, Spring 2006, Nutrition & Dietetics
  • Jeff Albanese, Spring 2008, Sociology & Political Science
  • Leah Murphy, Fall 2009, Nursing
  • Justin LeBlance, Spring 2013, Biology/Philosophy



Have you heard about snap?

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance

Program is the new name for the Food Stamp Program.

Learn more about the SNAP Outreach Project or to access a benefits application:

What's new at the hunger center

The Restaurant Meals Program comes to Rhode Island

Now there is a way for homeless, elderly, and disabled SNAP recipients to buy hot, prepared meals. The Restaurant Meals Program uses the same SNAP benefits and EBT cards to allow certain low-income individuals to buy low-cost meals at participating locations. Eligible individuals are the homeless, elderly, and disabled who may not have access to food storage or preparation.

For more information about the Restaurant Meals Program, visit

For more information about the Restaurant Meals Program in RI, visit



SNAP Outreach Coordinator takes part in Food Stamp Challenge

University Students Respond to Hurricane Irene

Pres. Dooley mentions the Hunger Center in his most recent "Conversation with URI"

Kathleen Gorman speaks at Hungry for Answers conference

Reaching out to the Hispanic community