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Nourish International

Examining Power, Privilege, and our Role in International Development by Nathan Albright

November 18, 2014 | Posted in 2014, Alumni Spotlight, Newsletters, Nourish in the News, Office Updates, Student Advisory Board, Summer Institute, Summer Projects | By

Sometimes to think critically, you need to listen to your biggest critics. It would be hard to find someone who was more critical of international volunteer projects than Ivan Illich. As we begin looking into potential project partners for next summer, maybe listening to someone like Illich will help us think more critically about some of the tough decisions involved.

In 1968, the philosopher and former Catholic Priest spoke to the “Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects” about its work in Mexico and Latin America. In this impassioned speech, he told the well intentioned ‘do-gooders’ that “the existence of organizations like yours is offensive” and “to hell with good intentions… the road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Here’s a little of what he went on to say:

By definition, you cannot help being ultimately vacationing salesmen for the middle-class “American Way of Life,” since that is really the only life you know.
Next to money and guns, the third largest North American export is the U.S. idealist…
Ideally, these people define their role as service. Actually, they frequently wind up alleviating the damage done by money and weapons, or “seducing” the “underdeveloped” to the benefits of the world of affluence and achievement.
All you will do in a Mexican village is create disorder.
You start on your task without any training. Even the Peace Corps spends around $10,000 on each corps member to help him adapt to his new environment and to guard him against culture shock. How odd that nobody ever thought about spending money to educate poor Mexicans in order to prevent them from the culture shock of meeting you?
Suppose you went to a U.S. ghetto this summer and tried to help the poor there “help themselves.” Very soon you would be either spit upon or laughed at. People offended by your pretentiousness would hit or spit. People who understand that your own bad consciences push you to this gesture would laugh condescendingly. Soon you would be made aware of your irrelevance among the poor, of your status as middle-class college students on a summer assignment. … If you insist on working with the poor, if this is your vocation, then at least work among the poor who can tell you to go to hell. It is incredibly unfair for you to impose yourselves on a village where you are so linguistically deaf and dumb that you don’t even understand what you are doing, or what people think of you. And it is profoundly damaging to yourselves when you define something that you want to do as “good,” a “sacrifice” and “help.”

That was nearly 50 years ago. Since then, the phenomenon of traveling to economically poor regions to volunteer—sometimes referred to as voluntourism—has seen a dramatic rise in popularity. But are the same issues Illich warned against still relevant today?

A more recent viewpoint comes from Linda Richter, executive director of the Human Sciences Research Council, who led a study looking into what she calls the “thriving industry of AIDS orphan tourism” in sub-Saharan Africa. What she found is disturbing. The majority of children in these orphanages are not orphans, she explains “[they] are there because of poverty rather than because their parents have died. Destitute parents may place their children in orphanages in the hope that their child will receive meals, clothing and schooling.” An influx of voluntourists who are willing to pay for the emotionally powerful experience of working in an orphanage has effectively created a market for orphans that local communities are now filling by giving up their own children. Richter explains:

Short-term volunteer tourists are encouraged to “make intimate connections” with previously neglected, abused, and abandoned young children. However, shortly after these ‘connections’ have been made, tourists leave—many undoubtedly feeling that they have made a positive contribution to the plight of very vulnerable children. And, in turn, feeling very special as a result of receiving a needy child’s affection. Unfortunately, many of the children they leave behind have experienced another abandonment to the detriment of their short- and long-term emotional and social development.

Rather than being raised by their living parents and family members, children are raised through an ever-changing stream of foreign volunteers that is “likely to be especially damaging to young children.” In light of this kind of study, it’s understandable that Illich and others have warned against voluntourism altogether. It’s disturbing to imagine the kind of damage that can be (and has been) done to a small community by a group of well-intentioned Westerners on a whirlwind trip to “make a difference” abroad. But how does something like that happen? And how can we avoid being part of a potentially detrimental project? Social critic and entrepreneur Pippa Biddle thinks it starts with acknowledging privilege.

When it comes to the power dynamics of voluntourism, it is all about privilege. Privilege comes in a multitude of forms and is sometimes hard to identify. There is racial privilege, then there is economic privilege, educational privilege, geographic privilege, gender privilege, religious privilege, privilege that comes with adhering to heteronormative standards, skinny privilege, and a million more that have yet to be recognized or that I just do not know.
Privilege is, at its core, easy to identify but difficult to own up to. Those who experience it, myself included, struggle to openly recognize its existence as we hope beyond hope that our kind intentions and good will are enough to overcome it. But they aren’t. Intentions are not enough.

Amy Ernst, a human rights advocate and international aid worker, agrees that good intentions won’t protect those you may work with and offers a concrete example from her experience:

The small team I worked with taught me the many ways I could make problems worse, even with the best of intentions… it’s not always easy to predict when your actions will cause harm. As a white American, my presence alone indicated wealth and could endanger people—even entire villages—as armed groups, or community members, in desperate need could have targeted people I spoke with, thinking I had left money or goods behind.

Rafia Zakaria, a columnist for Pakistan’s largest English-language newspaper, explains another pitfall of unchecked privilege in a foreign culture:

Typically other people’s problems seem simpler, uncomplicated and easier to solve than those of one’s own society. In this context, the decontextualized hunger and homelessness in Haiti, Cambodia or Vietnam is an easy moral choice. Unlike the problems of other societies, the failing inner city schools in Chicago or the haplessness of those living on the fringes in Detroit is connected to larger political narratives. In simple terms, the lack of knowledge of other cultures makes them [seem] easier to help.

The dangers of privilege and relying on good intentions are very real and are all the more reason to be cautious and well-informed while interacting with another culture. However most, like Zakaria, believe there is still a great value to the experience of working alongside a foreign community and that “despite its flaws, the educational aspect of voluntourism’s cross-cultural exchange must be saved, made better instead of being rejected completely.” Zakaria believes we can do this by focusing on “the recipient community’s actual needs” as opposed to “the volunteer’s quest for experience.” Plenty of others offer their own advice and experiences to consider while you sift through international projects:

Richter suggests that rather than volunteering in an orphanage:

Every available resource should be utilised to support families and extended kin to enable them to provide high quality care for their children. Out-of-home residential care should not be an option when support can be given to families to take care of their own children.

Biddle believes we should first look at what we have to offer a community:

Wanting to create change does not necessarily mean that you have the skills or access to the resources needed to make that happen… [Students] should be helped, with input from the community, in finding what skills she can offer, whether that be fund-raising for new textbooks or helping with the harvest.

Young volunteers offer unique sets of skills and experiences that most current placement organizations don’t do enough to take advantage of. By sending volunteers to do complicated tasks, we set them up for failure and increase the likelihood that their trips become poverty tourism rather than productive service work.

Ernst reminds us that even if we think we have a pretty firm grasp on the project situation:

Accountability and humility are key. You may not have a training booklet telling you what’s right or wrong, but local experts exist everywhere. And if you look hard enough, you will find that all skills are needed; you just need to figure out where and how to apply them in the appropriate context.

Ossob Mohamud, a contributor for an African subsidiary of The Guardian, suggests addressing the “root institutional and structural causes of the problem”:

Time and energy would be better spent building real solidarity between disparate societies based on mutual respect and understanding. Instead of focusing on surface symptoms of poverty, volunteers and the organisations that recruit them should focus on the causes that often stem from an unjust global economic order. Why not advocate and campaign for IMF and World Bank reforms? How about having volunteers advocate for their home country to change aggressive foreign and agricultural policies (such as subsidy programmes)? This might seem unrealistic but the idea is to get volunteers to understand their own (direct or indirect) role in global poverty. The idea is to get volunteers truly invested in ending poverty, and not simply to feel better about themselves.

Among the countless voices offering opinions on navigating the world of international volunteering, there isn’t one that reveals a clear path to picking a partner or a guaranteed method for a successful project. From the partner selection process to your first day on site, to posting pictures online and talking to friends when you get home, there’s a lot to be considered. A few basic themes seem to repeat:

Be educated. Learn whatever you can about the region and the culture of the people you’re planning to work with. Be aware of the historical events that led to their complicated situation and to your own.

Be humble. Part of learning is knowing how much you still don’t know. Remember that you’re coming from a position of immense privilege- simply by being enrolled in a college and travelling by plane to a project you are part of a relatively small global class. Be aware of the power dynamic this creates as well as the danger that power brings with it.

Be practical. Good intentions are not enough to guarantee success. Find out what the community needs (as opposed to what you want to do), and ask yourselves what you can realistically contribute. Attack root causes, rather than surface problems. Will people be better off when you leave? Pick a project or partner that has proven results.

At the end of the day, try to be thankful for the incredible gift of being invited into another culture and remember how much there is to learn from a culture so incredibly different than our own. Even Ivan Illich has some advice for those who are willing to go abroad humbly:

[Traveling on these projects] could lead you to new awareness: the awareness that even North Americans can receive the gift of hospitality without the slightest ability to pay for it; the awareness that for some gifts one cannot even say “thank you.”

Nathan Albright is the Community Discourse Coordinator at Nourish International.



Ivan Illich speech to the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects

HSRC- AIDS Orphan Tourism

New York Times- Voluntourism Debate

Pippa Biddle- White Girls Aren’t The Problem…

Rafia Zakaria- The White Tourist’s Burden

Ossob Mohamud

Family Launches Blackstock Music Festival to Benefit Communities in Poverty and Showcase Carolina Bands, Arts and Culture

May 22, 2014 | Posted in Nourish in the News, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

By Emily Fields, Development Coordinator, Nourish International


Blackstock Music Festival

May 30-31st, 2014 in Blackstock, SC

40 Bands- 4 stages- Great Cause


When owner of Blackstock Productions, Joshua Leonhardt, asked his sister and Nourish International Executive Director, Kelly Phoenix, about being a Charity Partner for the first Annual Blackstock Music Festival, the event became not only a convergence of the family passions but an opportunity to raise significant funds for Nourish International’s growth in the fight to impact global poverty by engaging social entrepreneurs. Funds from the festival will help Nourish International grow to 100 campuses and hit $1M in funds invested in community partners by 2017.


This year’s Blackstock Music Festival will feature 40 bands, three stages, and attract thousands of concert goers to this two day camping event in the heart of the Carolina’s. Tickets are available at and on etix for $115 in advance and $125 day of. Sponsors of the festival include Jack Daniels, Sweetwater Brewing Company, Verizon Wireless, and Ben Arnold Distribution Company.


Joshua Leonhardt, owner of Blackstock Productions, LLC, started the festival on his family farm in 2012. The festival, what began as simply a group of friends hiring local bands to play at fireside chats on the family farm, today, has grown to include 4 stages, 40 local bands, and thousands of people at this year’s Main Event. Joshua, a music aficionado, and Kelly, a social activist, grew up in a family commodity business that included travels to countries ranging from Belize to Turkey. Both saw global poverty first-hand and see the festival as a way to give back to the local economy, elevate music and arts, and generate substantial investment for communities in need.


Nourish International’s mission is to engage students and empower communities to make a lasting impact on extreme poverty through social enterprise. Since 2003, Nourish International has grown to become a student movement on 60 campuses and 700 students serving communities in 28 countries with game-changing investments to fight global poverty. To date the organization has invested nearly half a million dollars to implemented over 100 poverty reduction projects in countries ranging from India to Peru.


This year’s festival will be held on over 1,000 acres of Leonhardt family owned farmland in Blackstock, SC on May 30-31st. For two days, this picturesque countryside will play home to dozens of local food vendors, great musical talent, live artists, and thousands of guests! Festival-goers will enjoy food trucks serving everything from hummus and smoothies to pizza and burritos. And in between sets from such bands as Galactic, Papadosio, The Revivalists and PineTop Lightning, guests will have the opportunity to take part in a disc golf course and try their hand in the Cornfield at the Corn Hole Tournament. The festival will also play host to a number of craft brewers and a variety of artisan crafts and goods.


As if that weren’t enough, Blackstock Music Festival is more than simply about the music experience, it is about giving back as well. Blackstock Music Festival proceeds will benefit Nourish International by helping to open 15 new chapters of the organization in 2014.  The festival will stimulate the local economy in Fairfield County, SC where unemployment was nearly 10% last year, over 20% of residents live below the federal poverty line, and 1 out of every 5 people never get the opportunity to graduate high school. [i]The Leonhardt family hopes the festival will have a local footprint for the Blackstock community in years to come.


It’s clear, The Blackstock Music Festival is much more than your typical summer music festival! It is the collaborative effort of North and South Carolina’s musical talent, local live artists, craft vendors, a global charity cause and a family inspired to support one another.


To see the official Blackstock Music Festival lineup, purchase tickets, and learn more visit:


[i] All economic stats on the county of Fairfield, SC taken from US Census Bureau data from 2012.



Nourish Named Co-Host of the Millennium Campus Conference 2014

May 12, 2014 | Posted in Nourish in the News, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

This year Nourish International has been selected as a Co-Host for the Millennium Campus Conference.  The MCC is an invite-only conference for student organizations that address global development.  The conference is centered around the UN Millennium Development Goals and how student organizations are working to achieve them.  The conference also gives Millennium Delegates the opportunity to partner with peer organizations, national institutions, and global networks.  It brings together over 2,000 student leaders and over 50 world-renowned speakers all cooperating to accomplish eight goals that will improve the global standard of living.   The conference will take place on the beautiful campus of Lynn University, located in Boca Raton, Florida.


Students will take part in this amazing collaboration from Friday, October 10th to Sunday, October 12th.  At the conference, students will debate issues, such as serving versus donating, and have the opportunity to network with organizations from around the world at the Change the World Fair.  Furthermore, the conference will include world-renowned speakers, including Nicholas Kristof, Kristin Davis, and Dr. Paul Farmer.  On the last day, students will have their voices heard as the Policy Paper on youth perspectives is presented to experts.  The conference will end with closing ceremonies focused on a roundtable discussion.


This conference is a great experience for any student interested in sustainable global development, which is why we are inviting you to attend and join the movement.


Blackstock Music Festival

May 8, 2014 | Posted in Nourish in the News, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

We are honored to announce that Nourish International has been selected as the charity partner for the Blackstock Music Festival. The Blackstock Music Festival is being held on May 30th and May 31st in Blackstock, South Carolina featuring bands such as Papadosio, Dangermuffin, the Stoplight Observations, and Simplified. There will be food trucks, artisan trading, a disc golf course and much more.

Over 5,000 attendees will gather to support local music from the Carolinas and Nourish will receive a portion of the proceeds. So if you enjoy a good jam or want to experience some amazing food and help Nourish out in the process, purchase your ticket today! Tickets can be purchased here. They are selling out quickly, so get your tickets as soon as possible!

Recent Attack in Kenya poses the question to the Nourish Network: Is terrorism is a form of poverty?

September 26, 2013 | Posted in 2013, Kenya, Nourish in the News, Nourish Office, Summer Projects, UMN, Uncategorized | By

Kenya boysActs of terrorism continue to wreak havoc around the world and the recent international terrorist attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya hits close to home for Nourish International as we mourn for our partners and communities abroad that have suffered from the evil of others.

Africa remains the world’s poorest continent, with over 40% of sub-Saharan Africans living in extreme poverty. In the past 10 years, however, Kenya has become one of Africa’s most developed nations, an entrepreneurial hub for east Africa. Nourish has worked there for two years partnering with organizations on the ground working in sustainable agriculture, HIV/ AIDS prevention, tree reforestation, and educational outreach. We have built greenhouses and hospitals, planted tree forests, and run outreach workshops alongside communities in Kenya.

The Nourish International Movement, founded in 2003, is built upon the tenets of empowerment, social and economic justice, community- led partnership, and systemic and sustainable solutions for communities living in extreme poverty. We engage students to participate in creating a more just world.

Theo Klimek, a Nourish Chapter Leader at the University of Minnesota Chapter spent five weeks this summer working alongside Organic Health Response in Kenya. Theo reflects on the attack this week in frustration and concern with the following: “Our Nourish team was in Kenya for five weeks and in that short window I fell in love with the heart of the Kenyan people and their goodwill. Being from Minneapolis, I’ve had a chance to sit in on some community discussions concerning Somalia, its emerging government, its relationship with Kenya, and its troubles with Al-Shabab. Putting the two together, it has been deeply frustrating watching this week’s events unfold. Kenya’s role as a friend to the young Somali government and its military investment in peace and humanitarian aid in southern Somalia are both great examples of the good heart of its people. The tragedy within the tragedy is that their goodwill is being combated with death and terror. It’s quite possible that members of the Minnesota-Somali community were involved in this attack (Somali leaders here have publicly condemned this act of terror). And although this fact is making national news, I’m glad to know that there were many more Minnesotans in Kenya this year working alongside the Kenyan people, whose names won’t make headlines, but whose actions were for good, rather than destruction.”

Poverty manifests itself in many forms, and the most common understanding is economic or absolute poverty. This would include the statistic we all know too well… that one in six people (roughly one billion!) in the world live on less than a $1.25 per day.

Economic poverty is just one representation of poverty. In fact, extreme poverty is more than the lack of material resources necessary to meet an individual’s basic needs. One critical component of the extreme poverty is when an individual lacks the opportunity to make meaningful choices that will sustainably improve his or her life. Like poverty, terrorism is a global threat that kills, prevents growth, starves, and frightens all people striving for a meaningful life and improved living conditions.

Nourish International’s network fights the disempowerment of all people and trains leaders in their efforts to alleviate and end poverty in whatever form it takes.
Acts of terrorism remind us at Nourish International why our mission to engage students and empower communities is vital to creating lasting change and developing a more economically and socially just world. Our resolve to impact those in poverty, whether it’s through hunger alleviation, disease prevention, access to education or economic opportunity has only increased this week while watching our partners in Kenya and communities in need, face the terror associated with the recent attacks.

In light of the recent events, we pose the following question to the Nourish Network in reflecting on this week’s event, Is poverty a form of terrorism?

Welcome New Staff!

July 9, 2013 | Posted in 2013, Newsletters, Nourish in the News, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

Nourish is proud to announce that Becca Holt and Chancey Rouse have recently joined our team as Program Associates.

Becca Holt – Program Associate

“Becca graduated from UCLA in 2013 with a B.A. in International Development Studies and a minor in Gender Studies. She spent the first half of her undergraduate career floundering around Los Angeles, until she decided to study in Argentina, where the world of community-based development was brought before her. After falling in love with Buenos Aires, she spent a month researching recovery programs for survivors of sex trafficking in Asunción, Paraguay. She returned to UCLA and, by chance, fell in with the passionate, beautiful humans behind her university’s Nourish International Chapter. Becca is honored to have been Nourish at UCLA’s Chapter Leader, and she is extremely excited to be continuing on with the Nourish movement as part of the Fellowship program. Becca is proud to be a Los Angeles 2013 StartingBloc Fellow and is passionate about social enterprise, the abolition of human trafficking, empanadas, hugs, and dancing poorly.”

Chancey Rouse – Program Associate

Chancey graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in May 2012 with a B.A. in history and political science. After being very involved with nonprofit work in college, she abandoned her plans to go to law school in order to follow her passion and work in the nonprofit sector full-time. She is excited about joining the Nourish International team as a program associate. In her spare time she enjoys reading, volunteering, and exploring the local restaurant scene with friends.


Nourish Hires Laura Hayden as Development Director

June 19, 2013 | Posted in 2013, Newsletters, Nourish in the News, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

Nourish Hires Laura Hayden as Development Director! 

Originally from Baltimore, Laura worked for, and completed her studies at, Johns Hopkins University where she got her first ‘taste’ of fundraising and special events while coordinating the Alumni Association for the Wilmer Eye Institute under the leadership of Morton Goldberg, M.D.

With a yearning to live in the desert southwest for as long as she can remember, Laura picked up and moved to Tucson, AZ where she continued her career in fundraising, working for nonprofit organizations serving people with disabilities, specifically blindness and both adult and youth homelessness.  It was in Tucson where she met and married her husband Kevin, started a family and took up full-time parenthood, until 2006 when she moved to Durham and took the position with the Museum.  Laura has been with the Museum of Life and Science for nearly seven years where she initially directed the annual fund efforts and grew the department revenue significantly, allowing her to focus specifically on growing the events program. Over the last four years Laura created new initiatives that generate over $250K in event revenue annually.

In her spare time, Laura enjoys designing and making jewelry, voice acting, DIY home improvements, volunteering with the Greater Durham Exchange Club, and spending time with her two teenage boys and husband of 17 years.

We are so glad to have Laura with us. Welcome!


Welcome New Nourish International Board Members!

June 17, 2013 | Posted in 2013, Nourish in the News, Nourish Office, Office Updates, Student Advisory Board | By

We want to welcome our new additions to the 2013 Board of Directors! Our new members have been engaged and supportive of the movement for many years and begin serving on the board this July.

Gary Hayes – Managing Director & Co-Founder of Scale Finance

Gary Hayes, CPA, is the Managing Director and Co-Founder of Scale Finance LLC; a Raleigh-based financial manageme
Garybunt services firm. He received his MBA from the University of Maryland and has been involved in the financial sector through manybusinesses and nonprofit organizations. During his time as Chief Financial Officer with, Hayes assisted the CEO in raising $35 million in venture capital. Hayes also acted as Chief Financial Officer for Ateb Inc and served as the appointed Treasurer for Ibiliti. He has been involved in the community as a guest lecturer for the undergraduate business school at UNC and NC State. Hayes is an active member of the Nourish International Finance Committee and has been elected as Board Treasurer.

Brandon Agranovich, Miami University

Brandon Agranovich is a sophomore at Miami University and member of the Farmer School of Business Honors Program. He is


pursuing a B.S. in Marketing with a minor in Spanish and Entrepreneurship.  In his Miami Chapter,

Brandon served as the Chapter Representative and member of the ventures committee, while also serving as the Regional Representative for his region. He hopes to bring his experience in running his own businesses for over 10 years, as well as his experience in social entrepreneurship, to help Nourish’s mission reach more people. In his spare time, Brandon enjoys golf, traveling and volunteering.

Jared Staley, Ohio State University

Jared Staley is a junior at The Ohio State University, where he is pursuing his B.S. in Architecture and a minor in Design. He has served as Marketing Director and Co-Leader for his chapter, and will be taking on the new Outreach position. In addition to Nourish, Jared is involved in SERVitecture, a service oriented organization that partners with Habitat for Humanity; Knowlton School of Architecture Student Council, University Honors & Scholars Ambassadors, a volunteer organization that works closely with incoming Honors & Scholars freshmen; and Kuhn Honors and Scholars House, promoting Honors and Scholars events and initiatives as a Student Staff Assistant. Jared’s passion for Nourish International, globalization, and alleviating poverty has propelled him to pursue future work in sustainable architecture and affordable housing. When he has free time, Jared enjoys reading, listening to new music, photography, working out, and discovering his newfound pleasure in yoga.Jared


NC Fresh Catch to Support Nourish International at June 8th Event in Downtown Raleigh!

June 5, 2013 | Posted in 2013, Nourish in the News, Nourish Office, Office Updates | By

NC Fresh Catch to Support Nourish International at June 8th Event in Downtown Raleigh! Fresh Food, Fresh Music, and Fresh Art!

The Hills to Holy Water Music Arts Tour is bringing local N.C. flavor and entertainment to Moore Square in downtown Raleigh, NC.  Join us on Saturday, June 8th from 1-7 p.m. for an afternoon in the park.  General admission tickets are $5 each, and advanced VIP tickets ranging from $20 to $50 are available online at Proceeds from this event support Nourish International and the N.C. Coastal Federation. The event also benefits N.C. Catch fisheries, local farms, arts and breweries.

The menu will include a good ol’ fashioned fish fry, steamed clams, an assortment of delectable fresh seafood and vegetarian plates, and cold craft beer from Natty Greene’s, Big Boss, Aviator, LoneRider and Huske Hardware Breweries.

Other event activities include 10-minute tune-up massages, raffles and an exceptional silent auction hosted by the N.C. Coastal Federation and Core Sound Museum.  Bring a blanket and a chair and big appetites for N.C. Fresh Catch: Fresh Seafood, Fresh Music, Fresh Beer, and Fresh Art.  Shows are for all ages and are kid friendly.  All food and drink items on sale while supplies last.

Daylong performances will showcase music styles ranging from SKA and Rocksteady to Country Blues. Featured artists include King Django, Tiny Boxes, the Dye Wells, Kata Band and Boo Hanks.  Local artists will exhibit and sell their works on-site.

For more information, contact Michael Kalna at [email protected] or (919) 428-0845, visit the event website at, RSVP to the Facebook event at, or follow @NCFreshCatch on Twitter.


The Hills to Holy Water Music Arts Tour is a statewide concert series promoting the richness of North Carolina’s natural and creative resources.  This unique series focuses on creating and strengthening community relationships between local arts and sustainable commerce.  Partners in the Hills to Holy Waters Music Arts series include diverse and dynamic musicians and artisans, local and regional farms, fisheries and craft breweries.  These efforts combine to raise awareness and funds for community charities, ensuring continued growth in sustainable relationships and practices.


Chancellor Thorp Receives Nourish Impact Award

February 15, 2013 | Posted in Nourish in the News, Nourish Office | By

Chancellor Thorp honored with first Nourish International Impact Award

Over the group’s signature Hunger Lunch of beans, rice and cornbread on Tuesday (Feb. 12), Nourish International presented its first Impact Award to Chancellor Holden Thorp of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The group honored Thorp and co-founder Sindhura Citineni as part of the celebration of its 10th anniversary. Thorp was recognized for his work with innovation and student entrepreneurs.

“Buck Goldstein and I were so impressed with Nourish that we used it in our book, ‘Engines of Innovation,'” Thorp said. “It’s why universities are the ideal institution for tackling big problems: bringing talented people together and creating the environment for them to excel. I knew that Carolina’s faculty and students had the talent and the dedication to take on these challenges, and I knew that because of projects like Sindhura’s Hunger Lunch and Nourish International.”

Nourish International began at UNC as Hunger Lunch, founded by students Citenini and Joel Thomas in 2003. The students sold an inexpensive meal of rice, beans and cornbread and used the profits to fund a nutrition initiative in Hyderabad, India.  Since then, the nonprofit organization has spread to 25 countries and 28 universities to launch social businesses, called ventures, and invest the profits in community based, sustainable development projects. Nourish has deployed over $300,000 in venture profits on 65 projects in 25 countries, with plans to expand to 45 chapters this year.