ABOUT THE MILLENNIUM FELLOWSHIP - CLASS OF 2018
United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. In the three months the application was open in 2018, students applied to join the Class of 2018 on 285 campuses across 57 nations. 30 campuses worldwide (just 11%) were selected to host the 402 Millennium Fellows in the global pilot this year.
The Class of 2018 is bold, innovative, and inclusive. During the Millennium Fellowship, Millennium Fellows' dedicated 48,785 hours and their 214 unique projects positively impacted the lives of 393,449 people worldwide.
UNITED NATIONS ACADEMIC IMPACT AND MCN PROUDLY PRESENT MICHAEL GALLO, A MILLENNIUM FELLOW AND CAMPUS DIRECTOR FOR THE CLASS OF 2018.
Moravian College | Pennsylvania, United States | Advancing SDG 2 & UNAI 9
" I'm excited to be a Millennium Fellow because as an aspiring physician, I understand the importance of working towards and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in order to eradicate poverty and disease, and improve human health in both my local community and in communities all around the globe. "
Millennium Fellowship Project: The 1742 Model: A Comprehensive Program for Education and Action on The Sustainable Development Goals in the Lehigh Valley
The goal of our project was to create a plan for sustainable expansion of two already existing programs at Marvine Elementary that served to alleviate the burden of food insecurity experienced by students. Currently, 96% of students at Marvine receive free or reduced cost lunches through federally subsidized programs and most experience varying degrees of food insecurity on the weekends; ranging from moderate (very limited healthy food choices) to severe (little to no food to eat at all).
After meeting with the Community School Coordinator at Marvine, we learned about their existing food pantry, which at present was a single shelving unit that stored items that were donated from the community. The other program Marvine had in place was one where volunteers would pack a grocery bag with small food items such as a granola bar, a packet of apple sauce, and a packet of oatmeal to send home with 30 students each week on every Friday. Given the needs of the students, this "backpack" program has to be rotated every week to ensure equitable distribution across the nearly 300 students at Marvine. Presently it was only reaching a fraction of students in need.
Second Harvest Food Bank is a program of the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley (CACLV) and a member of Feeding America (the nation’s Food Bank network and largest hunger relief organization). Non-profit organizations, such as Marvine Elementary are welcome to apply for a "member agency" status where the organization is able to purchase bulk non-perishable food items from the regional distribution center at a price of $0.10 per pound and qualify for other programs that are subsidized by the United State Department of Agriculture.
Our Fellowship project aspired to help Marvine achieve this "member agency" status with Second Harvest Food Bank. We came up with a budget for expanding the "backpack" program such that every student could get a bag with a 5-fold increase in the approximate gross weight of food items to bring home every weekend. We came up with a plan to expand the physical space in which the food pantry is currently located and obtain the shelving units necessary to accommodate this expansion. Lastly, we set out to obtain financial support to cover the cost of the entire project's budget from a variety of sources and create a plan for long-term sustainability.
We successfully obtained donations of shelving units from one corporate sponsor to accommodate the physical expansion to fit our plan. We received a commitment from the Vice President of Community Initiatives from a volunteer based non-profit organization to provide the volunteer capacity to sustain these initiatives as the food pantry and backpack program continues to grow to better meet the needs of the community. We secured funding from a corporate sponsor to cover the cost of the greatly expanded food pantry for the next two years that would be stocked with over 300 pounds of food per month. We secured funding for the 5-fold expansion of the "backpack" program that would now reach every student at Marvine from another corporate sponsor and a commitment to sponsor this initiative year after year. Myself and another Millennium Fellow at my campus, Adriana Facchiano, won first prize in a local social entrepreneurship contest, and received a cash prize of $3,000 which we donated in full to Marvine for the project's budget, adding to total pool of money to sustain this low-cost, high impact initiative over time. We have two more meetings already in place to meet with additional corporate sponsors as well as the Development Office of one existing sponsor to discuss the feasibility of a 5-year grant for these projects. Finally, we have gather all of the necessary documents and filled out all of the required paperwork to apply for "member agency" status and are waiting to hear back from Second Harvest Food Bank. Adriana and I will be continuing to volunteer for these projects throughout the remainder of our time in the local area, including helping to stock the pantry and continuing to diversify the funding base of corporate sponsors as we've created plans for another multi-step expansion.
About the Millennium Fellow
My name is Michael Gallo and I am a rising senior studying public health and biochemistry at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the United States. After graduating college I plan on pursuing a combined MD/MPH because of my love of medicine and public health. I am deeply passionate about health equity, social justice, and global health and aspire to one day work with communities all around the world to cure illnesses, reduce health disparities, and promote good health and well-being.