Written by Jane Macdonald, Loaves & Fishes Director of Community Wellness
The 2018 Hunger Summit is an annual conference hosted by the Illinois Commission to End Hunger. The event welcomes people from across Illinois who work every day to provide those in need with nutritious food to lead a healthy life. Attendees have the opportunity to network with colleagues from every corner of the state, as well as learn about innovations and challenges regarding anti-hunger policies and programs.
This year’s featured speaker was Dr. Craig Gundersen, of the Department of Agriculture Economics at the University of Illinois. Dr. Gundersen informs policymakers and program administrators who are seeking paths to reduce food security and its consequences. Over 40 million Americans live in food insecure households, which has become a leading health care crisis in the United States. Dr Gundersen evaluates food assistance programs and has considerable research around the effectiveness of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
The Commission to End Hunger was created by legislation in 2010 with the mission of developing a plan to end hunger in Illinois. Every two years, the commission develops an action plan and collaborates among other government entities and community partners to reach goals. Three working groups were formed to address the complex issues facing those who struggle with hunger. The working groups are:
- No Kid Hungry- strategies to alleviate childhood hunger
- Emergency Food Systems – increasing available supply of nutritious foods
- Benefits Access – protecting our safety net programs
The updates from commission activity is presented at the Hunger Summit each year, along with panels of experts who share their information and developments. Loaves & Fishes is pleased to be part of these challenging goals and discussions.