Alison Meares Cohen is the Senior Director of Programs for WhyHunger, a non-profit organization supporting grassroots organizations implementing innovative, community-based solutions to hunger and poverty and participating in movement building. Alison is responsible for helping to develop and steward WhyHunger’s organizational vision and strategy and its implementation through its Grassroots Action Network, Nourish Network for the Right to Food, and Global Movements programs. Prior to joining WhyHunger, Alison served as the Northern Program Manager for Heifer International. From 2001 – 2008 she was responsible for developing partnerships throughout the northeast and midwest regions with local communities and like-minded organizations to build sustainable food systems where limited-resource families, communities and beginner farmers –both rural and urban — have access to healthy food and income-earning opportunities. Prior to transferring to New York, Alison served as the director of Heifer International's first urban agriculture program based in Chicago, Illinois for five years. Alison has a master's degree in Sociology from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and a bachelor’s degree in English and French literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. For the past twenty-five years she has worked with farmers and communities in West Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Canada and the United States. Alison lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters, with whom she started the PS 29 Food and Farming Initiative that hosts a school vegetable garden and works to improve the quality of food served in the cafeteria.