For Tom Wingert, what started as an administrative position at La Salle University turned into the founding of his own non-profit organization. Working on projects addressing social justice issues, particularly hunger in the Philadelphia area, Wingert founded the Germantown Hunger Network.
While finding ways to engage students with the Exploring Nutrition Project at La Salle, Wingert realized the impact an engaged network would have that would focus on how food security is dealt with in Philadelphia and around the country.
“The goal is to change the hunger landscape in North Philadelphia,” said Wingert.
To make the Exploring Nutrition Project work, Wingert reached out to programs such as Philabundance and SHARE Food Network to find out what they do to project approach through the university. This inspired the Germantown Hunger Network. Wingert realized these programs feed hungry people, but they are not working together in a specific neighborhood to make a significant impact. In this case, he explored Germantown, and realized the food pantries around the neighborhood were not connected to each other at all.
Currently almost 100 organizations have engaged as community partners with the Germantown Food Network. However, Wingert will be leaving his role and handing the network over to the other organizations he has been working with to take a job with Ignite-Good, an organization that trains millennial leaders in the non-profit world with the power of public narrative. He also has a relationship with the Huffington Post, the parent organization of Ignite-Good, writing blogs about Ignite Good and other topics he is passionate about.
“I’m 26-years-old, at the point where I am defining myself professionally, and I’ve achieved a pretty high level of success really really quickly, and I want to be able to ride on that,” Said Wingert.
Wingert will be traveling to 20 cities in 2014, looking for non-profit millenial leaders. After making a difference in the North Philadelphia neighborhoods improving hunger and nutritional health, Tom Wingert is ready to influence future non-profit entrepreneurs across the country.
For more information on the Germantown Food Network or Ignite Good, you can reach Tom Wingert at firstname.lastname@example.org