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2018 Hunger Free Conference Summit

Rebecca Middleton, Executive Director, Alliance to End Hunger, and Tony Hall, Executive Director Emeritus, Alliance to End Hunger, welcoming the audience with opening remarks at the 2018 Hunger Free Communities Summit.

Katie Clark Sieben, Director, Cargill Foundation, delivers the keynote on the importance of partnerships in advocating for and strengthening communities around the world. The growing global population, its strain on natural resources, unpredictable trade markets and the imbalance across food systems all have created challenges in the fight to end hunger, she said. She shared stories of how Cargill Foundation has stepped up during crises, such as sourcing and delivering 22 million pounds of rice – enough to feed 1 million people for a month – in refugee camps in Mombasa, Kenya. That effort, like many others, can happen only with local and national partnerships.

Jennifer Banyan, CEO of R-Evolution Consulting, leads a breakout session for the Colorado Blueprint to End Hunger. This Hunger Free Communities Best Practices Track focused on a multi-year plan to end hunger for all Coloradans. Funded by the Colorado Health Foundation, it was developed by individuals and organizations in Colorado who are working on or experiencing hunger in their homes and communities. Participants learned about the rationale and process for creating the plan, as well as its key elements, such as boosting participation in Federal Child Nutrition programs and expanding the number of Coloradans who can access the food they need through community-based organizations.

Wendy Tai, Strategic Director for Early Childhood Nutrition, Hunger Impact Partners, presents at Summertime: When the Food is for the Taking, highlighting Summer Eats Minnesota, a mobile app Hunger Impact Partners created to help children and parents access free summer meals. This Child Hunger Solutions Track promoted innovative outreach initiatives surrounding summer meals in local communities.

Ellie Lucas, CEO of Hunger Impact Partners, moderates the Food Rescue and Recovery Innovations panel. From left to right: Louise Iverson, Senior Program Manager, General Mills; Kari Armbruster, Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Project Manager, Kroger Co.; Kitty Finn, Senior Account Manager of Manufacturing Partnerships, Feeding America; Justin Block, Director of Retail Information Services, Feeding America. A way to address food waste and hunger featured General Mills’ involvement in creating the MealConnect App, which connects donors with surplus food to their local Feeding America food banks and partners.

The opening panel, Return on Investment: The Case for Increasing Food Security, brought together experts who focused on food security as an economic issue. From left to right, Dorothy McAuliffe, National Policy Advisor, Share Our Strength; Julie Mikkelson, Division Director for Special Nutrition Programs, USDA (Midwest); Moderator Ela Rausch, Project Director, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis; Sandra Hoyt Stenmark M.D., Physician Lead of Health Equity at Kaiser Permanente; Ellie Lucas, CEO, Hunger Impact Partners.

Trent Tucker, Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Hunger Impact Partners.

Jess Roberts, Lead at Culture of Health by Design at the University of Minnesota, presents and moderates Solving Problems using Human-Centered Design session. This Encouraging Innovation Track addressed persistent and complex health issues, such as obesity, rising healthcare costs and growing health disparities, as outcomes of the systems we have consciously and unconsciously designed. To counter these outcomes, Roberts encouraged design thinking to supplement much of current research, practice and innovation through empathetic engagement, radical collaboration and rapid prototyping. Participants explored how these concepts could be used by anti-hunger organizations.

Noelia Mann, Communications and Operations Coordinator for the Building Movement Project (standing), and Michelle Horovitz, Executive Director of Appetite for Change (sitting), present From Social Service to Social Change. This Hunger Free Communities Training Track brought together the two organizations to show a framework for exploring ways that social service organizations can integrate their social change principles into everyday work. The workshop guided participants through an assessment of their organization’s activities. Attendees engaged with peer practitioners on how they navigate common challenges, considered organizational activities and mapped out possible next steps. Attendees left with tangible resources for integrating meaningful constituent engagement.

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