Rachel Sumekh

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Rachel Nava Sumekh
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Born (1991-11-07) November 7, 1991 (age 32)
San Fernando Valley
CitizenshipUnited states of America
Alma materUniversity of California
  • Entrepreneur
  • activist
  • Farahnaz Sumekh (father)
  • Joseph Sumekh (mother)

Rachel Nava Sumekh (born November 7th, 1991) is an American entrepreneur and activist, serving since 2013 as the CEO and Co-Founder of Swipe Out Hunger, the nation's leading nonprofit addressing college student hunger. In 2017 Rachel was named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 List[1] and in 2012 was invited to the White House by President Barack Obama[2].

Early life

Rachel Sumekh was born in the San Fernando Valley suburbs of Los Angeles to Farahnaz and Joseph Sumekh. Her parents are both Iranian Jewish immigrants who left Iran as a result of the revolution. Her mother is from Shiraz while her father is from Isfahan and grew up in Abadan. Rachel has an older sister Tally Sumekh and younger brother Nathan Sumekh, both of whom are entrepreneurs. Rachel is Jewish and sits on the board of her Jewish community, IKAR led by Rabbi Sharon Brous.

Rachel served as student body president of her high school, William Howard Taft Charter High School. Rachel attended University of California, Los Angeles where she earned degrees in History and Human Complex Systems. Rachel participated in an AmeriCorps program in Chicago immediately after graduating where she was a case manager to individuals experiencing poverty, unemployment and homelessness.


Rachel became the first full time staff member of Swipe Out Hunger in September 2013 when demand from other colleges for the program was at a high. Under her leadership, Swipe Out Hunger has grown to over 120 campuses across 39 states[3]Rachel is known for having written the Hunger Free Campus bill[4], legislation which has sent colleges and universities millions of dollars to fund anti-hunger work on campus. The legislations three key requirements include: host a campus food pantry, enroll students in SNAP and if you offer meal plans, allow students to donate their excess meal swipes.

Awards and Accolades

Rachel has been recognized on Forbes' 30 Under 30 list of Social Entrepreneurs[5], by CNN Money[6], The Forward 50[7], Jewish Insider[8] and named to LA Weekly's list of people in Los Angeles to know[9].

Rachel is a part of esteemed communities such as the Schusterman Foundation's ROI Community and Schusterman Fellowship[10], Summit Series and the Selah Network. Rachel was an Creator for the LA28 Olympics Campaign[11]


  1. Staff, ByMerrilee BartonForbes. "Rachel Sumekh". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  2. "Iranian Jewish Life in Los Angeles: Past and Present: Swipe Out Hunger: White House Recognition". Iranian Jewish Life in Los Angeles: Past and Present. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  3. "Solutions to College Food Insecurity". Swipe Out Hunger. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  4. "Hunger Free Campus Bill | Student Basic Needs Policies". Swipe Out Hunger. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  5. Staff, ByMerrilee BartonForbes. "Rachel Sumekh". Forbes. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  6. Lobosco, Katie (2017-06-12). "She's on a mission to make America's colleges 'hunger free'". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  7. StaffDecember 20, Forward; 2019. "Rachel Sumekh: The Supreme Swiper". The Forward. Retrieved 2020-11-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  8. October 29, Susan Josephs; 2019 (2019-10-30). "Eradicating food insecurity, one swipe at a time". Jewish Insider. Retrieved 2020-11-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. Src='https://Www.gravatar.com/Avatar/D41d8cd98f00b204e9800998ecf8427e?s=80, <img Class='guest_author_avatar Avatar' Style='width:20px;height:20px'; d=mm; Sehayek, r=g'/>Marnie (2017-05-03). "The Swipe Out Hunger Founder Is the Robin Hood of College Meal Plans". LA Weekly. Retrieved 2020-11-10. {{cite web}}: |first= has generic name (help)CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  10. "Rachel Sumekh". www.schusterman.org. Retrieved 2020-11-10.
  11. "Creativity, diversity and limitless possibility celebrated as LA28 reveals new emblem - Olympic News". International Olympic Committee. 2020-09-01. Retrieved 2020-11-10.

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