Dr. Melony Samuels Named CEO and Founder of The Campaign Against Hunger

We are excited to announce that The Campaign Against Hunger’s (TCAH) former Executive Director, Dr. Melony Samuels, has been elevated to Chief Executive Officer and Founder! We want to congratulate Dr. Melony Samuels and could not be more pleased with this announcement that is certainly a long time coming.


Dr. Samuels is a pioneer and nonprofit leader in the anti-hunger community. Her visionary leadership in the emergency food access space is unmatched. She has spearheaded multiple initiatives and programs that have opened doors, built connections, and advanced equity for New York’s most vulnerable.


Dr. Samuels has devoted her life’s work to improving the conditions of marginalized communities and strengthening NYC’s emergency food system. Well respected in all quarters, she is a thought leader with an impressive track record as an innovator and expert in developing solutions that drive transformation and sustainability.


“The Board of Directors congratulates Dr. Samuels on her well-deserved elevation to Chief Executive Officer,” added Mike Woolley, TCAH’s Board Chair. “Dr. Samuels is a tireless advocate for reducing food insecurity and advancing food justice in New York City. TCAH has greatly expanded its food distribution capabilities, community partnerships, and footprint across the city with her guidance.


“Dr. Samuels has been a bright light and a beacon of love, hope, and impact for decades for so many in New York City who find themselves in need of food and other resources,” said Leslie B. Gordon, President & CEO, Food Bank for New York City. “Her leadership has elevated The Campaign Against Hunger to a best-in-class organization positioned to serve others for years to come, and so it is no surprise that the board is bestowing the well-deserved title of Chief Executive Officer.”


“Dr. Melony Samuels has been both a visionary and a leader in the Brooklyn Community for over two decades, and she has helped countless numbers of our neighbors during her tenure at The Campaign Against Hunger,” said Randy Peers, President & CEO, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “I want to congratulate her and applaud the board of directors for acknowledging her important role in founding and leading the organization.”


“I’ve known Dr. Melony Samuels for more than a decade, and she continues to amaze and inspire me. My heartfelt congratulations on her recent promotion to CEO and the recognition of her brilliance as the Founder of The Campaign Against Hunger. Dr. Samuels is an exemplary New Yorker who always shows care, grit, vision, and undeniable results in leading the transformation of our city’s communities and people. She understands that it is going to take a lot more than food to solve hunger, which is why her vision for a vibrant, inclusive, hunger-free New York is to be revered. Her partnership with WhyHunger on the local and national stage has been invaluable,” said Noreen Springstead, Executive Director, WhyHunger.


“The pandemic hit us incredibly hard here in Brooklyn, throughout New York City, and of course, across the nation. But we are a resilient community and brighter days are ahead. Nobody demonstrated that resilience more than Dr. Melony Samuels and The Campaign Against Hunger. She built an organization that feeds thousands of families across this city through her leadership. This elevation is very well deserved, and I cannot wait to see what is next for her and TCAH,” said Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Congressman, New York’s Eight Congressional District. 


“Congratulations to Dr. Melony Samuels in her new position as CEO at The Campaign Against Hunger,” said Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso. “Under your continued leadership, TCAH is sure to continue to fulfil its mission and grow. It’s important to remember that this essential organization began as a basement pantry and has grown to be a resource hub for communities.”


“The Campaign Against Hunger (TCAH) has been a vital partner in our mission to combat food insecurity across New York City, and TCAH’s model food programs provide New Yorkers in need with the holistic services and resources they deserve,” said Human Resources Administration Emergency Food & Nutrition Assistance Program Director LaMaunda Maharaj. “Dr. Samuels’ visionary leadership has been critical to the success of these community-focused food pantries, and I really look forward to our continued partnership as we further our shared goal of uplifting vulnerable communities while ensuring that no New Yorker goes hungry.”


“I’m so proud to congratulate Dr. Melony Samuels. The Campaign Against Hunger is a vital organization addressing Brooklyn’s hunger and poverty needs, and my office has worked closely with Dr. Samuels and TCAH on many important initiatives. I look forward to our continued partnership in the years to come,” noted New York State Senator Zellnor Myrie, 20th Senate District. 


“On behalf of everyone at City Harvest, I want to send my sincere congratulations to Dr. Melony Samuels as she is named Chief Executive Officer & Founder of The Campaign Against Hunger. For almost 25 years, Dr. Samuels has brought her leadership skills, business acumen, and great compassion to TCAH, the Bed-Stuy community, and across New York City, added Jilly Stephens, Chief Executive Officer, City Harvest. “She deeply understands how problems like food insecurity require a community approach and has been an innovator in offering client choice and emphasizing fresh, locally sourced produce. I also want to congratulate Dr. Samuels on securing a $3,000,000 federal grant recently to create a permanent food hub in Brooklyn that will feature a commercial kitchen for workforce innovation and training for disadvantaged young people as well as serving to amplify the emergency food network capacity to store, pack and distribute healthy food in urban communities during times of crisis. An extraordinary achievement! City Harvest is very fortunate to have her and TCAH as valued partners. We salute her and send our best wishes as she assumes her new title.”


“There’s an adage that says, love thy neighbor as thyself and another that says, be thy brother’s keeper. I believe that if we love one another, we will care about the well-being of each other. I have spent most of my career in service to those most vulnerable across New York City because I believe we can all thrive if given the opportunity, access, and tools that we need. I am proud to have led TCAH for the last 23 years in the capacity of Executive Director and Founder. I have seen love, compassion, change, and growth during the most tumultuous time in our city and country’s history. As CEO and Founder, I am humbled and excited to continue this work alongside my Board, staff, supporters, donors, volunteers, and amazing partners as we work together to advance food and economic justice across NYC.” 

 -Dr. Melony Samuels 


Dr. Samuels is the founder and former president of the Bed-Stuy Providers Network, a collaborative group of eighteen emergency food programs in Bed-Stuy where she helped secure start-up funding. She’s sat on the Vital Brooklyn Initiative, Food Bank for NYC Strategy Council, City Harvest Advisory Committee, and currently sits on the Council of Hunger and Food Policy Board, the Vital Southeast Queens Council, and the Transition Committee for NYC Mayor Eric Adams and Brooklyn Borough President Antonio Reynoso.


She has given a TED Talk and has received numerous commendations for her work including a Do-Gooder Award and Spark Prize For Innovation Award from the Brooklyn Community Foundation, Can Do Award from Food Bank of New York City, Everyday Hero Award, and the Liberty Award from the New York Post, and a Chapin Award for Excellence from WhyHunger.


Dr. Samuels’ most crucial community contributions have arguably been during the landfall of Hurricane Sandy, mobilizing staff and volunteers to thousands of families devastated by the storm and marshaling TCAH as a food security leader serving 2 million New Yorkers impacted by the COVID19 crisis. This includes amassing 250 new community partnerships and distributing food for 35 million nutritious meals.


Under Dr. Samuels’ tutelage, TCAH’s work is embraced by many local schools, agencies, government officials, senior centers, and community-based organizations. Her philosophy is that only through strong partnerships can lasting change arise.


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