Local Communities Showcase Their Fight Against Hunger at 2016 Hunger Free Communities Summit

October 18, 2016

Erin Leonard, Alliance to End Hunger

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Alliance Executive Director Emeritus Tony Hall addresses participants at the 2016 Hunger Free Community Summit. (Photo: Erin Leonard/Alliance to End Hunger)

On October 5th and 6th the Alliance to End Hunger hosted the 2016 Hunger Free Communities Summit in Indianapolis, Indiana. We would like to thank all of our speakers and participants for making the summit a huge success! Throughout the summit leaders from Hunger Free Community groups around the country shared strategies that are working to end hunger in their communities. Participants attended panel discussions on: using better data to reduce the meal gap, engaging with volunteers and AmeriCorps VISTAs in order to increase capacity, addressing childhood hunger through state legislation, and how to build successful and productive partnerships at the local level – among others.

Holding this year’s summit in Indianapolis allowed participants to hear from representatives from the Indy Hunger Network, a thriving Hunger Free Community network, and to see their work in action. In addition to hearing from the Indy Hunger Network – participants listened to congressman Andre Carson (D) from Indiana explain why ending hunger should be an utmost priority in the United States.

Jeremy Everett from the Texas Hunger Initiative delivered an inspiring keynote speech at this year’s summit, touching on how the art of social change requires building trust and collaboration in communities, which ultimately has the power to lead to transformation within these communities. Alliance Executive Director Emeritus, Ambassador Tony Hall, shared some of the challenges and lessons learned from the Hunger Free Community work in Dayton, OH in his closing remarks.

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Breakout session at the 2016 Hunger Free Communities Summit (Photo: Erin Leonard/Alliance to End Hunger)

Over 100 participants had the chance to network with those from around the country facing the similar challenges as well as engaging in similar anti-hunger initiatives. Of attendees who submitted a post-summit survey – 100% were satisfied with their conference experience, and 85% were very satisfied. One participant from the summit stated that they “loved the diversity of the regions represented” at the Summit as well as “the strong presence of the local anti-hunger community.” The ability to network with organizations that ranged from the local to the national was an invaluable aspect of the HFC Summit.

For those interested in exploring some of the topics discussed at the summit – please check out the Hunger Free Communities website for copies of each presentation and other resources presented during the conference. Additionally, for those interested in continuing to explore many of the topics presented at the HFC Summit, as well as continuing to network with Hunger Free Community groups from around the country –  please consider attending our quarterly Hunger Free Community calls. Our next Hunger Free Communities Quarterly Meeting webinar is on Tue, Dec 6, 2016 2:00 PM – 3:30 PM EST, register here.  An agenda for the session will be provided prior to the meeting.

We hope to see you at the next Hunger Free Communities Summit!