I had the excellent opportunity to come to the incredible 2nd annual Regional Summit Workshop on Hunger that was presented by Promedia and the Alliance for Hunger. This workshop was held at the beautiful grounds of the Jimmy Carter Center in Atlanta, GA. The workshop started off with Barbara Petee who is the Chief Advocacy and Government Relations Officer of Promedia. She discussed about how obesity ties in with hunger and that hunger is a public health and moral issue. She stated that the only way to find a solution to end hunger is to address it.
Next came Lee Hammerling, MD works with Promedia as the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Physician Executive of Promedia. Dr. Hammerling discussed about Promedia which is a community based, mission driven, non-for-profit business that is employee strategically focused and fiscally sound. Promedia’s mission is to improve the health and well-being of the communities we serve. Dr. Hammerling also discussed about public healthcare where the annual cost of hunger to every U.S. citizen is on pace to b e a rough amount of $42,400 per citizen over a course of a lifetime. The overall cost of hunger to our nation’s amount to be at least $167,5 Billion. Promedia believes that the healthcare system should take a leadership role – clinically, socially and economically. Dr. Hammerling spoke about how remission key risk factors and social determinants can impact a person’s health. Lack of transportation + lack of food = remission to hospital.
Audrey Rowe, Administrator, Food and Nutrition Service(FNS), U.S. Department of Agriculture spoke about the FNS Consumer Service mission to end hunger and improve nutrition in America. She also explained about food insecurities that in about 360,000 households that 1 to more children simply do not get enough to eat. This is the Healthy people 2020 ten year focus on economic cost, hunger cost and health disparities. Programs that have been fighting hunger for children are the SNAP(Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) which has been in existence for 50 years and WIC (Women, Infant and Children) which has been in existence for 40 years. SNAP consist of the Commodity Food Assistance program, Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act and Health Incentives. There is also the FINI (Food Insecurity Nutrition Incentive Grant Program) which supports projects to increase the purchase of fruits and vegetables among low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) by providing incentives at the point of purchase such as Farmer’s Markets and mobile markets.
Next week, I will discuss about the Panel Discussion on what is working and what is not working with the fight for eliminating hunger.