HAS Photo 1

Our annual Hunger Action Summit was held on March 14th in partnership with Santa Clara University’s Food and Agribusiness Institute. Over 200 people gathered to hear the latest update about hunger in our community and discuss ways that we can work toward Second Harvest’s vision of a hunger-free community.

The Summit focused on the idea that food is foundational. As Cat Cvengros, our VP of Development and Marketing said, “That’s why hunger needs a seat at the table when we talk about key policy issues like education, health and housing. These issues are all intertwined, with food being the foundation. If you don’t have access to nutritious food, it’s hard to succeed in school. If you don’t have a decent job, you can’t pay for housing. If housing costs are too high, families can’t buy the nutritious food they need to fully engage. And the cycle continues. Because food is so foundational, we can’t ever hope to solve these other complex issues without solving the hunger problem.”

HAS Photo 2

A panel discussion with representatives from the hunger, education, housing and medical fields discussed how the issue of hunger affects their work, emphasizing the idea that hunger relief provides a foundation for making an impact. Panel members included Mary Ann Dewan (Santa Clara County Office of Education), Janine Bruce (Stanford School of Medicine), Jacky Morales-Ferrand (City of San Jose), and our own Cindy McCown.

Other presenters provided background data on the state of hunger in Silicon Valley and what the Food Bank is doing to try to get more food to people who need it. The discussion included what the audience can do to take action on hunger issues in our community and how to get involved at the state and federal levels to advocate for safety net programs. Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach delivered the keynote address, providing a framework for understanding the link between policies aimed at improving the lives of children in poverty, including food security, education, health, and income support.

Overall, it was a great day of sharing, learning and networking with those in our community who are dedicated to solving hunger. Thank you to all the presenters and attendees!

We hope you will join us take action in the fight against hunger. If you are interested in seeing a video of the day, click here. To see the presentations and some resources that were discussed at the event, click here.