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5 Questions with...Challah for Hunger's Loren Shatten!

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This story comes to us from Challah for Hunger, a not-for profit organization with over 75 active chapters around the globe, mostly based on university campuses, that bakes and sells challah bread and uses the proceeds to support social justice causes.

Loren Shatten recently joined Challah for Hunger as a Program Director. Get to know Loren below!

Loren grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio and graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Psychology in 2013.  She served for two years as a Fellow with Repair the World: Philadelphia learning about food and education justice shortcomings in the city, volunteering with a variety of organizations addressing those issues and facilitating service learning for others engaged in service. These experiences shaped her understanding of the causes of food insecurity and the obstacles to food sovereignty, leading her to advocate for change and to continue her work for equality and equity. Loren spends her free time running on the Schuylkill River, eating Little Baby’s ice cream and exploring different areas of the city.

1.  Tell us what excites you most about your new position with Challah for Hunger.

Challah for Hunger didn't exist on my college campus, and I missed the opportunity to be involved in a Jewish college organization that facilitated strong conversation around social justice issues and provided low-barrier ways to get involved.

This position allows me to get involved now and to continue the work I did as an undergraduate and a Repair the World Fellow. I'm also looking forward to becoming a master challah baking chef and perfecting my own signature flavor! 

2.  How will you apply your experience as a Repair the World Fellow to your new role?

Repair exposed me to the critical food justice issues people around the world, across the country and in my adopted hometown of Philadelphia are experiencing today, and Challah for Hunger does an incredible job presenting these issues to college students in a digestible way.

Through my work at Repair, I was able to facilitate these hard conversations and help people take steps towards becoming involved in addressing these problems. I was also introduced to many great organizations working on these issues locally and I am excited to bring them into the Challah for Hunger conversation.

3.  What were you most surprised to learn about food insecurity and its causes?

I was surprised to learn about the how misleading the marketing around food can be. For instance, it was upsetting to learn the realistic definitions of cage free chickens and free range chickens. I always thought the term "cage free" sounded like a very humane way to raise chickens for eggs. I recently learned that eggs can be labeled "cage free" but come from farms where hundreds of chickens are crowded into a barn, and still the name is considered fitting and legal for this situation.

While the fact that food labels are misleading isn't common knowledge, there are people working towards educating and informing consumers. Eggs is just one example of how deceiving food sales and advertisements can be to people who lack the time or resources to learn the truth. 

4.  Where can you be found on a day off?

Running along the Schuylkill River is one of my favorite things to do during the summer in Philadelphia. Seeing all the crew teams competing along the water and all the different people biking, running, walking and enjoying the path is always an enjoyable way to spend a Saturday.

I am also a fan of eating ice cream at Little Baby's in West Philly where the flavors range from chocolate pomegranate to Sriracha Earl Grey. Every weekend also offers the opportunity to attend a different festival in the city. I have spent time exploring art, music, food and even a circus through these free Philly events! 

5.  What’s Philadelphia’s best kept secret?

Magic Gardens. Magic Gardens is an incredible mosaic experience that's displayed on multiple levels indoors and outdoors. The artist Isaiah Zagar started creating Magic Gardens in 1994 when it was just an empty lot. It is a place you can wander around every weekend and still find new things each time you explore. While this is the largest display of his work, he has hundreds of mini mosaic creations throughout the entire city. I have really enjoyed being in a new part of Philly and being able to recognize a mural as Isaiah Zagars. 

The Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation is proud to empower emerging leaders to explore their values, identity and new ways to strengthen their communities. We believe that as we work together to repair the world, it is important to share our diverse experiences and perspectives along the way. We encourage the expression of personal thoughts and reflections here on the Schusterman blog. Each post reflects solely the opinion of its author and does not necessarily represent the views of the Foundation, its partner organizations or all program participants.