Mariana Chilton

Director, Center for Hunger-Free Communities, Associate Professor, Drexel University School of Public Health

Mariana Chilton

Dr. Mariana Chilton is a nationally recognized leader addressing child hunger in America and an Associate Professor at Drexel University School of Public Health. She is the Director of the Center for Hunger-Free Communities at Drexel University School of Public Health (, formerly known as The Philadelphia GROW Project and is also Co-Principal Investigator of the national surveillance study, Children’s HealthWatch. In 2008, Dr. Chilton founded the award-winning project, Witnesses to Hunger ( to increase women’s participation in the national dialogue on hunger and poverty.  In March 2012, the Center for Hunger-Free Communities was recognized as a White House Champion Non-Profit.

Dr. Chilton investigates the health impacts of hunger and food insecurity among young children aged zero to four.  Her work spans across a variety of issues that affect low-income families to address nutritional wellbeing, public assistance participation, housing instability, employment, and financial insecurity.  Dr. Chilton received her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, Master of Public Health in Epidemiology from the University of Oklahoma, and Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University. She has testified before the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives on the importance of child nutrition programs and other antipoverty policies.

She as served as an advisor to Sesame Street and to the Institute of Medicine.  Her awards include the Nourish Award from Manna, Unsung Hero-Award for Improving the Lives of Women and Girls from Women’s Way and the Young Professional Award in Maternal and Child Health from the American Public Health Association.  Her work has been featured in the Washington Post, the Philadelphia Inquirer, Parents’ Magazine, ABC World News with Diane Sawyer, CBS Evening News and public radio.  Her work was comprehensively featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer series, a Portrait of Hunger, and most recently on CNN American Morning.

Twitter Handle @HungerFreeCtr

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