Hunger Free Communities Summit Goes Virtual, Features All-Star Speakers & Panels

December 17, 2020

Jonique Lyles | Hunger Free Communities Associate, AmeriCorps VISTA | Alliance to End Hunger

This year marked our very first virtual Hunger Free Communities (HFC) Summit. Our goal for this year was to understand the changing landscape of hunger due to the COVID pandemic and to build a resilient post-pandemic America. Despite the circumstances, were able to successfully transition to an online experience and led engaging sessions that left participants with insight, resources and more!

Moving to an online experience also increased accessibility to a new and larger audience with over 800 registrations and 350 individuals attending in real-time!

Panelists participate in a Summit discussion on national anti-hunger organizations’ responses to COVID-19.

From November 18 – 19 we totaled over 23 hours of engaging content with over 90 speakers. Over the course of two days our guests and presenters joined us in hopeful spirits to address anti-hunger efforts today.  With over 21 breakout sessions we were able to cover a wide-range of subject areas like innovative COVID programs, racial equity, LGBTQ hunger, college hunger, and organizing hunger free communities. Conversation quickly expanded to participants sharing best practices and resources, demonstrating effective multi-sector collaborations and even building skills among practitioners.

Given their vital roles in their communities, we featured the significant work of members of the HFC Network, including Texas Hunger Initiative, Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger, Indy Hunger Network, Community Food Advocates (NYC), Hunger Free Vermont, Montgomery County Food Council, Hunger Free San Diego, Hunger Free Colorado and Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance.

Our major keynote speakers included Senators John Boozman and Debbie Stabenow (via video), Lillian Singh from Prosperity Now (“Examining the Impact of Structural Racism on Food Insecurity & Hunger”) and Graham Christensen, farmer and environmental activist (“Building Resilient Communities From The Soil Up”). Overall, participant feedback to the summit was excellent and they were able to walk away with helpful tips, resources and connections for anti-hunger advocacy, food systems, racial equity, and tools for food security today.

We were particularly happy to feature the great work of Alliance member organizations such as A Place at the Table, Bread for the World, Feeding America, Share Our Strength, Promedica, Souper Bowl of Caring, Islamic Relief USA, Meals on Wheels America and corporate partners like Sodexo Foundation, Amazon, Bank of America and General Mills.

We are so grateful to convene our partners for this annual event, and to be able to showcase their impactful work.  We especially want to say thank you to SWAIM Strategies for assisting us in navigating a virtual event, and our amazing sponsors General Mills, No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength, Feeding America, Islamic Relief USA, Congressional Hunger Center and Bread for the World.

One advantage of a virtual summit is having the content recorded for sharing on our website.  We are still working on uploading content, but please check back HERE regularly as content becomes available. We hope you get a chance to view any sessions you may have missed in the near future.