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Fausat Rahman-Davies is the Lead Agent for the Rialto USD Child Nutrition Service Area. Fausat hails from Lagos, Nigeria where she grew up in poverty. When she came to the states, she began working with Rialto USD Nutrition. She saw a child attempting to steal food for himself and his sibling because they were very hungry. From that day on, she made it her life mission to end child hunger. Fausat began her career as a Nutrition Service Worker I (everyday hero) and after 24 years of learning the job and graciously feeding our scholars, Fausat became the Lead Agent (Director) of our department, where she has led for the past 4 years.
Fausat kept that boy in her mind and heart and has impactfully changed the dynamics of our service area. In our district, Fausat has implemented CEP (which allows all scholars to eat at no charge), Breakfast in classroom (so every scholar in the district has the opportunity to have breakfast in a comfortable setting and can focus on their studies) and has teamed up with the district Career & Technology department to create the Keystone Food Pantry (program that distributes pantry goods to the community on a monthly basis). Fausat has worked hard to create a program that provides equitable access to meals for all.
During one of our extremely hot and busy summer meal services, a mom come up to ask Fausat if this was her program, and then proceeded to cry and tell Fausat that because of her program, her children are able to eat. We stood there for a beat trying to absorb the enormity of what this parent just told us. Fausat repeated it back and said your babies wouldn't eat? The mother said, no and that she was so incredibly grateful to Fausat and Rialto Unified for this program. The mom told us her story and the hard times that had fallen on her family; they had no place to call home, the kids were having issues, and the mom herself had some struggles. Fausat sat with this mother, cried with her, and listened to her story. She gave this mom her number and Fausat worked to try and assist this family. Throughout the summer we would see them at the park and the kids were always happy to be there and enjoying the food. Since then, our program has expanded, we have gone through a pandemic, and we have opened a food pantry to assist families like the one we met that day. The Rialto Keystone Cafe Food Pantry is offered in a drive-through distribution to make it convenient for our families. Each time we have a distribution we will have multiple families pour out their hearts with gratitude about our school meals program, the summer program, and the pantry.
All of what is happening in Rialto Child Nutrition is because of Fausat. Fausat loves the kids and believes it takes a village to feed and raise a child.
Fausat’s mother used to tell her that "To whom much is given, much is required" and that she needs to remember whose child she is. This is embedded in her soul. To remind her of these things she says “Ubuntu”. In the African language, it describes kindness, humanity, compassion, and goodness. I am because we are.
Fausat is a true example of what a hunger hero is.