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We Can’t ‘Foodbank’ Our Way Out of Hunger: From Charity to a Social Justice Funding Model

When: 
Monday, December 7, 2020 - 2:00pm EST
Webinar
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Over the past forty years, food charity has captured the social imagination of funders and policymakers eager to resolve the contradictions of a society that produces hunger amidst plenty. Food charity has become normalized to capture the increasing number of people falling through the frayed social safety net. However, this charitable emergency feeding system in the U.S.—the largest and most sophisticated in the world—has historically never been able to meet the demand or even make a real dent in the rate of food insecurity which has hovered at 11-12% for the past 30 years.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 37 million Americans were already struggling to put food on the table, even as two-thirds of people facing hunger in the U.S. had incomes above the federal poverty line. With the number of food-insecure people in the U.S. expected to climb to 54 million by the end of 2020, it is simply not possible to ‘foodbank’ our way out of hunger. We are witnessing and, in many cases, supporting a private charitable feeding system, with no track record of eliminating hunger even before the pandemic, but which is now pushed to its limits.

Join us for a two-part discussion of the contradictions in our food and social welfare systems, and the ways philanthropy can help abate the present-day crisis and demonstrate a long-term commitment to building health, social, environmental, and economic resilience into our food system. Each webinar will include a panel discussion followed by a funder-only strategy session.

Part 1: We Can’t ‘Foodbank’ Our Way Out of Hunger

Thursday, October 22, 2020 – 8 am HST /11 am PT / 12 pm MT / 1 pm CT / 2 pm ET (90 minutes)

Cost: Free

The first webinar will be a discussion of the anti-hunger landscape and feature concrete examples of the connection between food insecurity and food systems. Speakers will share a newly published philanthropic call to action from the Global Solidarity Alliance, a group of non-governmental organizations, national networks, grassroots activists, and scholars concerned about hunger and poverty in wealthier countries.

Speakers:
Alison Cohen, senior director of programs, WhyHunger (moderator)
Joshua Lohnes, program director, Food Policy Research, West Virginia University, Center for Resilient Communities
Robert Ojeda, chief programs officer, Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona
Camryn Smith, executive director, Communities in Partnership

Part 2: From Charity to a Social Justice Funding Model

Monday, December 7, 2020 – 8 am HST / 11 am PT / 12 pm MT / 1 pm CT / 2 pm ET (90 minutes)

Cost: $25 SAFSF members/$40 non-members

A growing membership-based network of emergency food providers (food banks, soup kitchens, food pantries) and allied organizations called Closing the Hunger Gap has emerged to actively engage in changing both the false narratives behind why people are hungry, and the false solutions put forth to address hunger in the United States. This webinar will highlight member organizations creating, piloting and adapting specific policies and practices that ground solutions to chronic hunger in addressing the social justice issues that created and perpetuate it.

Speakers:
Suzanne Babb, director of U.S. programs, WhyHunger (moderator)
Additional speakers coming soon

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