Atlanta to Host Next Come to the Table Summit
October 26, 2014
Nathan Magrath, Manager of Communications and Outreach, Alliance to End Hunger
“Every day, the epidemic impacts of poor nutrition, obesity and hunger are having severe health consequences across our national population, costing our country billions of dollars each year. Hunger among children, seniors, pregnant women and other adults has an effect on all aspects of wellness, from chronic disease to mental illness.”
So started a Huffington Post piece by Alliance Executive Director Emeritus Tony Hall earlier in the year. One of the most incessant impediments to the work of anti-hunger activists in the United States is the pervasive belief that hunger is not a problem in this country. Some may believe hunger exists, but is not a serious enough problem to warrant national attention. Thankfully, ProMedica has taken the lead with the Alliance to End Hunger to promote a critical national dialogue that not only draws attention back to the issue of hunger in America, but also highlights the stake we all have in addressing this problem.
In February, the Alliance to End Hunger and ProMedica held a half-day summit on Capitol Hill that drew in members of Congress, the Obama Administration, healthcare providers, and community leaders from around the country. The ‘Come to the Table’ summit was a huge success. Attendees were presented with opinions and information from a wide variety of public and private experts. There are clear associations between food insecurity and poorer health status among children, adults and seniors, and our goal is to ensure that this topic becomes a priority in the healthcare industry. The long-term, detrimental effects of poor nutrition on health include negative consequences on physical and mental development, as well as the productivity and economic success of our nation. While the human toll from hunger remains incalculable, one estimate puts related healthcare costs nationwide at a staggering $130.5 billion a year.
Following the D.C. summit, a need to continue the dialogue around hunger and health was evident. A series of regional Come to the Table summits was initiated in Chicago in May. On November 14, the next summit in the series will be held at The Carter Center in Atlanta. The Alliance to End Hunger and ProMedica strongly encourage any and all organizations and individuals interested in addressing hunger as a health issue to register and attend.