Join us for the State of U.S. Hunger 2024

Emerson, Events, Field, Updates

A briefing on the State of U.S. Hunger featuring field work presentations from the 30th Class of Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows was held online on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 from 10:00 a.m EST to 3:00 p.m EST. The presentations were streamed on Youtube, Linkedin, and Facebook Live, as well as right here on our website.

 

The Emerson Fellows are passionate emerging leaders who have been engaging with community-focused work across the country since September 2023. Fellows have been placed with organizations in Arkansas, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Washington, D.C., and presented their findings on solutions to food insecurity and poverty.

See event schedule below. Please note that all times are EST.

Schedule of Presentations

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Denise Ramos-Vega, Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow at UCI Basic Needs Center (welcome); Shannon Maynard, Executive Director of the Congressional Hunger Center (live remarks); Rep. James P. McGovern, Hunger Center Board Chair (recorded remarks)

Session I: Uplifting Lived Experiences and Community Engagement

  • 10:20 a.m. “Neighbor Council Best Practices.” Maria Islam, Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank | Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • 10:30 a.m. “Black Women’s Experience Navigating the Hunger Landscape in D.C.” Zhara Edwards, DC Hunger Solutions | Washington, D.C.
  • 10:40 a.m. “Safe Spaces: Incubators for Community Engagement.” Alfred Gary III, Hunger Free Oklahoma | Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • 10:50 a.m. “Shaping Tomorrow’s Table: Envisioning the Evolution of GFPPP in Chicago’s Food Landscape.” Avyan Mejdeen, Chicago Food Policy Action Council | Chicago, Ill.

Session II: Mapping and Program Assessment

  • 11:00 a.m. “Exploring the Potential of Faith-Based Land Access.” Adin Burwell, Chicago Food Policy Action Council | Chicago, Ill.
  • 11:10 a.m. “Breaking Barriers in Urban Native Agriculture.” Chas Nystrom and Tatiana Villegas, Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative | Fayetteville, Ark.
  • 11:30 a.m. “Barriers to Benefits: The New State of SNAP Access in Pennsylvania.” Tylah Harrison, Just Harvest | Pittsburgh, Pa

11:45 a.m. Lunch Break (1 hour 15 minutes)

Session III: Handbooks to End Hunger

  • 1:00 p.m. “People of Color with Lived Experience Focus Group Guidelines.” Nicholas French, Feeding South Dakota | Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • 1:10 p.m. “Resource Guide: Going beyond SNAP in Anti-Poverty Advocacy.” Kenneth Palmer, Feeding South Dakota | Sioux Falls, S.D.
  • 1:20 p.m. “A Community Guide to Planning Non-Congregate Summer Meals.” John Hoang, Hunger Free Oklahoma | Oklahoma City, Okla.

Session IV: Food Insecurity in the Classroom

  • 1:30 p.m. “Incorporating Nutrition and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Classroom: A Case Study at Common Threads.” Jeanie Kim, Common Threads | Los Angeles, Calif.
  • 1:40 p.m. “Caf to Cap and Gown: Evaluating the Impact of Massachusetts’ Hunger Free Campus Initiative.” Stefano Mancini, Greater Boston Food Bank | Boston, Mass.
  • 1:50 p.m. “SNAP Student Exemptions: Understanding Local Programs that Increase Employability at UCI.” Kathryn Tzivanis, UCI Basic Needs Center | Irvine, Calif.
  • 2:00 p.m. “Beyond the Basics: A Comprehensive Look at CalFresh and Food Access on UCI’s Campus.” Denise Ramos-Vega, UCI Basic Needs Center | Irvine, Calif.

Closing Remarks

2:00 p.m. Katharine Emerson, Chief of Staff, World Food Program USA and Hunger Center Board Secretary(recorded remarks); and Tony Jackson, Program Director, Emerson National Hunger Fellowship Program (live remarks)


Meet the 30th Class of Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows

Click the fellows’ photos to see their biographies.

 

Special thanks to our partner organizations for hosting the 30th Class fellows:

Chicago Food Policy Action Council
Common Threads
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Greater Boston Food Bank
Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank
Hunger Free Oklahoma
Just Harvest
Indigenous Food & Agriculture Initiative
Feeding South Dakota
UCI Basic Needs Center

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