While the COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating consequences for many elements of the West Virginia economy, one of the most startling effects has been increased rates of food insecurity throughout the state, especially in households with children.
This year, the third annual Food For All Summit will take a closer look at the cracks in our food access systems that have been made increasingly apparent as COVID-19 continues to harm our communities.
The Summit will run from Monday, Nov. 16 through Friday, Nov. 20. The schedule can be found below, as well as on the Summit webpage here.
In our opening keynote session moderated by Dr. Josh Lohnes of the WVU Food Justice Lab, two scholar-activists at the forefront of the global movement for food sovereignty, Dr. Jahi Chappel and Dr. Garrett Grady-Lovelace, will engage with the West Virginia Food for All Coalition to discuss representative democracy in the food system and the critical role that social movements and policymakers and advocates can play in reshaping the social contract between food producers and consumers to advance the right to food.
Across the country, Black and Latino households are experiencing food insecurity at more than twice the rates as white households. Dr. Josh Lohnes will facilitate a roundtable with Delegate Danielle Walker, Dr. Lauri Andress, Dr. Shanequa Smith, and Dr. Elisa Minoff where participants will discuss how structural inequalities are coded into law and how it impacts food security in communities of color
In an exciting change to the Summit format, in lieu of specific policy proposals, the planning committee has dedicated a day to exploring the various skills that are useful for getting a bill passed at the Legislature or for otherwise impacting policy change.
Have you ever wondered how to book a meeting with your lawmaker during a pandemic or how to recruit a champion for your cause at the Legislature? Is there a government agency you would like to see do things differently? How do professionals utilize social media to achieve goals? These topics and more will be covered throughout the day in one-hour sessions (breaks will be included).
Join West Virginia anti-hunger activists Jenny Anderson and Cyndi Kirkhart for a discussion on the ways in which COVID-19 was especially harmful to children and how communities responded. Focusing on the successes and challenges of Cabell County’s reaction to the pandemic, participants will get a close look at a hyper-local response to hunger.
This year’s summit concludes with a special panel led by Amy Jo Hutchinson, featuring mothers from across the state who have directly experienced food insecurity in their own households.
The Food For All Coalition hopes you join us the week of November 16 to hear more about what we can all do to ensure that access to an adequate and nutritious diet is a human right mandated through public policy change.
You can register here.
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