Senior director of development, Children’s Hunger Alliance
About: Stunned by the number of food-insecure children in the state of Ohio, a casual conversation with the former vice president of development turned into a full-time fundraising job at Children’s Hunger Alliance in 2019 for retail executive Beth Griffin. Griffin’s background in retail included work with Macy’s, FAO Schwarz, Hasbro and Mead. During the pandemic, Children’s Hunger Alliance and COSI have partnered on a bold initiative to “Feed Hungry Lives and Feed Hungry Minds.” Through Children’s Hunger Alliance’s distribution network, COSI gave hundreds of children state-approved STEM content packaged in a fun “Learning Lunchbox.”
It is critical that Columbus focuses on building a strong population of nourished, educated youth who can grow into the leaders, educators and executives of tomorrow—regardless of the location they grew up in.
Outside of work: Griffin’s passion project is working with military veterans and recent college graduates on their resumes. She’s also involved with Central Ohio Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and Miami University Alumni Association.
What does Columbus need to thrive? A 2016 study by the University of Texas at Dallas found children who experience frequent hunger are twice as likely to engage in violence. It is critical that Columbus leaders address the systemic challenges our youth face that lead to inequity. It is critical that Columbus focuses on building a strong population of nourished, educated youth who can grow into the leaders, educators and executives of tomorrow—regardless of the location they grew up in—to propel our great city forward.
Griffin’s idea: Taking the existing COSI/Children’s Hunger Alliance model and expanding upon it could lead to lasting positive change in Columbus. If the fundamentals of this budding social enterprise are further refined, there is a real opportunity to penetrate Central Ohio’s underserved youth. Bending Brook apartment complex in Urbancrest is a prime example of where the Future 50 could start with a pilot. Partnering with the Bending Brook community, which has a large Somalian population, could start with creating a counsel of inclusion, which would be essential to understand their specific needs and how the Future 50 can help.