Former UN pilot fights hunger in the Triad

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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. -- Leslie Isakoff has traveled to different countries making sure people have enough to eat.

She learned how to fly planes at just 12 years old with the desire to deliver food to people in need.

“I got my license at 16. My whole goal was to just deliver food and make sure people have that,” Isakoff said.

She studied aviation in college and began work with the United Nations World Food Programme.

“Most of my area was in north and west Africa. I flew a little bit for them, but my favorite part was working on strategy on the ground,” she said.

Isakoff had a 10-year career with the United Nations.

Now, she’s addressing hunger in the Piedmont.

“We have about 47,000 children in Greensboro that don’t eat on the weekend,” she said.

Isakoff is the executive director of A Simple Gesture -- a food collection program that supports food banks and pantries in Guilford County.

In its first year and a half, A Simple Gesture collected 150,000 pounds of food.

“Our goal is to make sure that all 47,000 students don’t go hungry.”

“I’ve always believed that one person can change the world and this program proves it,” Isakoff said.

To participate in A Simple Gesture, visit its website,