Meet the Inspiring Winner of Our First Annual Feed It Forward Contest

We have a winner! This charity founder gets $3,000 for her cause and a mentoring session with Rach.
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mercedes kirkland-doyle portrait

When she found out she’d won, Mercedes called her grandma—who then bragged about it to her senior-center friends.   

When we put the call out last fall for Feed It Forward, our contest supporting grassroots, food-focused charities, we had no idea what a bunch of amazingly cool examples of human kindness and ingenuity would land in our inbox. 

But with her can-do attitude and track record, Mercedes Kirkland-Doyle stood out from the pack. The awe-inspiring founder of the Good News Community Kitchen (TGNCK)—a nonprofit supplying meals, clothing, and hygiene kits and offering workforce development to veterans, students, and others in need in northern Virginia and the Washington, D.C., area—will be coming to New York to ask Rachael all her questions about growing a nonprofit. Mercedes chatted with us about her goals—she thinks big, and we like it! 

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How do you want to see TGNCK grow? 

I see TGNCK not only providing hunger relief but also establishing partnerships with banks, counselors, and local businesses to ensure those we help have opportunities in education or substance support and develop economic empowerment. 

What advice would you love to get from Rachael? 

How does she balance it all?! I’m a divorced single mother of two with a full-time career. My first priority is to raise happy, well-rounded children, but I want to maintain my goals and dreams while being a successful working mother. 

What’s your ultimate objective? 

To empower women to dream bigger; to provide the tools to turn dreams into realities. Planting that seed allows me to breathe easily knowing our future will be in the hands of caring, dedicated leaders.

WATCH: Rach gives Mercedes a special surprise on the Rachael Ray Show!