Gloria McAdam biography

          A Gouverneur native and St. Lawrence University graduate, Gloria McAdam was lured awayfrom the North Country for a job in Hartford, Connecticut.  For the many years that she lived in Connecticut, she maintained close ties with the North Country through her large extended family.  When the opportunity arose to return to the area, and continue her thirty years of work fighting hunger, she jumped at the chance to join GardenShare in January of 2015.

            First organized in 1996, GardenShare is a locally led, nonprofit organization working to end hunger and strengthen the local food system in the North Country.  The levels of poverty and food insecurity in the counties of the North Country are among the highest in New York State, behind only the Bronx, Kings, and Manhattan. In St. Lawrence County, 17.5 percent of the population lives in poverty including 23.1 percent of our children. One study estimates that 1,800 children are hungry here, with 6,800 more at risk of hunger. St. Lawrence County's food pantries distribute nearly 800,000 meals per year.

            GardenShare has gained wide experience and visibility through its innovative efforts to address the problem of hunger. GardenShare's work to solve hunger opened our eyes to broader issues of food and farming and public policy. Today GardenShare embraces a far-reaching vision of a secure and fair food system.  GardenShare unites diverse constituencies — consumers, farmers, environmentalists, business owners and people living on limited incomes — to implement innovative programs that connect food, farming, and rural revitalization.

            From 1984 until 2014, Gloria served as President and CEO of Foodshare, the Feeding America regional food bank serving the Hartford area.  During this time, the need within that region grew tremendously, but so did Foodshare's response.  In 2013, Foodshare distributed 14 million pounds of donated food, with a wholesale value of well over $20  million, to 300 local organizations that feed hungry people.  This is more than one hundred times as much food as was distributed in 1984!  In addition to this tremendous growth in the amount of food distributed, Gloria provided leadership to Foodshare's involvement in education and outreach efforts, advocacy on behalf of hungry people, building a stable resource base for the organization, and the acquisition of a permanent warehouse facility for Foodshare.

            Gloria has been involved in hunger issues and food banking on both a regional and national level.  Gloria  served for two years on the Board of Directors of Feeding America, the country’s largest charitable food program.  Gloria was a founding member and former chair of the City of Hartford Food Policy Commission, the Connecticut Food Policy Council, and End Hunger Connecticut!  In addtion to many local organizations honoring her work in Connecticut, Gloria was honored in 2002 by Secretary of Agriculture Ann Venemann with the Secretary’s Honor Award, the highest recognition bestowed by the United States Department of Agriculture. 

            Prior to Foodshare, Gloria was a District Executive for the Long Rivers Council, Boy Scouts of America for five years.  She was among the first women to work in this capacity with the Boy Scouts.  Gloria has also worked in the national headquarters of the United Mine Workers of America and the office of Congressman Donald Mitchell, both in Washington, D.C.

            Gloria has a bachelor's degree in government from St. Lawrence University, where as a student, she was a Trustee Scholar.  St. Lawrence awarded her the "Sol Feinstone Alumni Award," its highest recognition for distinguished alumni, in 1992.  Gloria resides in West Pierrepont, where she shares her home with two large rescued dogs of questionable lineage.  Gloria's children are scattered to the four winds and all engaged in service to humanity, which makes her very happy (the service part, not the scattered part!).