Join Us for The State of U.S. Hunger 2023

Emerson, Events, Field, Updates

A briefing featuring field work presentations from the 29th Class of Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows, will be held online on Wednesday, February 15, 2023 from 10:00 a.m EST to 3:00 p.m EST.



This is a great opportunity to learn about the current state of hunger from passionate young leaders who have been engaged with community-focused work across the country since September 2022. Fellows have been placed with organizations in California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and Tennessee.

See event agenda below. Please note that all times are EST. (Updated Monday, Feb. 6 1:41 p.m. EST)

Opening Remarks

10:00 a.m. Shannon Maynard, Executive Director, Congressional Hunger Center and Rep. James P. McGovern, Hunger Center Board Chair

Part I: Increasing Transparency and Access in Community Based Work

  • 10:20 a.m. “A Seat at the Table: Engaging Communities in Defining Food Access Solutions.” Angela Zhang, Just Harvest Education Fund | Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • 10:30 a.m. “Feeding Equity: Contextualizing Policy Advocacy at the Greater Boston Food Bank.” Gabe Hafemann, Greater Boston Food Bank | Boston, Mass.
  • 10:40 a.m. “Food, Freedom, and Choice: Nutrition and Independence in Group Homes.” Hayleigh Rockenback, Mass. Developmental Disabilities Council & South Shore Community Action Council | Quincy and Plymouth, Mass.
  • 10:50 a.m. “Supporting Chicago’s BIPOC and Low-Income Communities: A Website for Urban Farmers to Secure Land.” Lauren Drumgold, Chicago Food Policy Council | Chicago, Ill.

Part II: “For the People”: Uplifting Lived Expertise and Centering Equitable Practices

  • 11:10 a.m. “Dispelling Myths, Increasing Access: examining common fears and barriers experienced by Spanish-speaking immigrants applying for SNAP benefits in Maryland.” Isabella Dresser and Maryam Taysir, Maryland Hunger Solutions | Baltimore, Md.
  • 11:20 a.m. “Applying A Racial Equity Lens To Volunteer Programs Across Nonprofits.” Akeisha Latch, About Fresh | Boston, Mass.
  • 11:30 a.m. “‘Build with, not for’: Strategies For Including Lived Experience in Anti-hunger Work” Molly Pifko, Hunger Free Oklahoma | Tulsa, Okla.
  • 11:40 a.m. “A Blueprint for the Blueprint: Crafting a Dynamic Toolkit for Collaborative Change in Oklahoma.” Nick Battles, Hunger Free Oklahoma | Tulsa, Okla.
  • 11:50 a.m. “Food Insecurity in Knoxville’s Public Housing Community: Engaging Residents as Co-Creators of Change.” Maia Rodriguez-Choi, United Way of Greater Knoxville | Knoxville, Tenn.
  • 12:00 p.m. “Food Pantry Best Practices: Centering Client-Choice, Dignity, and Equity.” Landy Lin, Wesley House Community Center | Knoxville, Tenn.

12:10 p.m. Lunch Break (60 Minutes)

Part III: Mapping and Program Assessment

  • 1:10 p.m. “Visualizing the Good Food Purchasing Initiative of Metro Chicago.” Aliyah Fard, Chicago Food Policy Action Council | Chicago, Ill.
  • 1:20 p.m. “From the Eyes of the Community: Cultivating Effective Change Through Landscape Assessments.” Taylor Unoki, Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio | Lorain, Ohio
  • 1:30 p.m. “Progress in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: A Nonprofit’s Journey in Assessment and Reporting.” Allison Bunyan, Common Threads | Miami, Fla.
  • 1:40 p.m. “Developing Future Pittsburgh Food Equity Ambassadors: Program Review and Recommendations.” Raneem Karboji, Pittsburgh Food Policy Council | Pittsburgh, Pa.

Part IV: Food Pantries, Mobile Markets and Increasing Awareness of Food Insecurity

  • 1:50 p.m. “Fruitful Facilitation: The Case for Working Groups in Anti-Hunger Nonprofit Organizations.” Clara Pitt, About Fresh | Boston, Mass.
  • 2:00 p.m. “Food Insecurity at UCI: Addressing Student Hunger and Developing Sustainable Solutions for Students.” Rajitmeet Singh, UCI Basic Needs Center | Irvine, Calif.
  • 2:10 p.m. “Cultivating Synergies for Systems Change: Examining Hub Models as a Pathway to Building Resilient Communities.” Jazmyne Brooks, Second Harvest Food Bank of North Central Ohio | Lorain, Ohio

Closing Remarks

2:20 p.m. Katharine Emerson, Chief of Staff, World Food Program USA and Hunger Center Board Chair; and Tony Jackson, Program Director, Emerson National Hunger Fellowship

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