The seventh annual Iowa Hunger Summit, bringing together over 600 people each year, will be held Oct. 15 in Des Moines. The day-long conference explores issues of hunger occurring in Iowa and beyond and what various humanitarian organizations, state agencies and local groups are doing to fight hunger. The Iowa Hunger Summit is free and open to the public but you must register to attend.
The summit is sponsored and organized by the World Food Prize Foundation, headquartered in Des Moines. The summit is the kick-off event for the annual World Food Prize symposium Oct. 16-19. A line-up of speakers involved with efforts to alleviate hunger in Iowa and abroad is featured at the Iowa Hunger Summit. The summit also serves to bring together people from local communities across Iowa to share ideas and successes in fighting hunger and poverty and to unite them in further action against both.
People who attend include representatives of community organizations, business and industry, state and local government, social service agencies, churches and religious communities, schools and universities, and other groups that lead or participate in projects to confront hunger.
Each year, information is gathered by World Food Prize officials to tabulate the total amount that Iowans have donated, collected or contributed toward fighting hunger. The dollar amount is announced at a "Hunger Luncheon" which features meals by hunger-fighting organizations and an inspirational keynote speech on hunger-related issues.
Speakers will be sharing ideas, and their experiences in fighting hunger
Keynote speaker this year is Magnus MacFarlane-Barrow, founder and chief executive of Mary's Meals. He started as a farmer in Scotland, but when the Balkan conflict began, he and his brother Fergus were so moved by the scenes on television in 1992 they gathered a jeep load of aid and joined a convoy to Bosnia to distribute it.
Magnus went on to create Mary's Meals, which works with local communities to provide a daily meal in a place of education for chronically poor children. Attracted to the classroom by the food, children who otherwise would miss school because of poverty can gain a basic education that provides an escape route from poverty. Today, Mary's Meals has grown into a global movement, feeding over 700,000 children a day.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
Other speakers include A.G. Kawamura, former California Secretary of Agriculture and co-chair of Solutions From The Land Dialogue, a project supported by the United Nation's Foundation, Farm Foundation and others. He is a third generation commercial fruit and vegetable grower and has a lifetime of experience working within the shrinking rural and urban boundaries of Southern California. Over the past three decades he has organized large scale gleaning projects, edible landscapes, community gardens and other innovative urban ag models.
Jennifer Sauer, senior research advisor with AARP, will unveil AARP's 2013 survey on hunger in Iowa. She will facilitate a workshop with participants about how to share and use the findings of the survey to address hunger issues in your own community.
New events this year—special event offers volunteers the opportunity to come and help package meals for the hungry
A special event this year will provide the opportunity for hunger summit attendees to help prepare meals for hungry Iowans. The meal packaging event is presented by DuPont Pioneer in conjunction with the Meals From The Heartland organization. It will be held all day Tuesday, Oct. 15 at the Catholic Pastoral Center, 601 Grand Avenue, in Des Moines.
Another event is a public film screening of "A Place at the Table." The film examines hunger in America, telling the stories of Americans who suffer from food insecurity, exploring the economic, social and cultural implications of hunger in the United States. The film will be shown Oct. 15 at 6 p.m. at the downtown Marriott. The film screening will be followed by a discussion panel comprised of individuals who were involved in making the film.
A third special event is an interfaith prayer service to end world hunger. The world produces enough food to feed everyone, nearly 2,700 calories for each person in the world each day. Yet nearly one in eight people around the world suffers from chronic malnourishment. In the midst of Iowa's bountiful harvest, this event allows people to give thanks for blessings and join in praying for the alleviation of world hunger. It will be held Wednesday, Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. at St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines. Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will lead this interfaith service. Donations of nonperishable food items and money will be accepted during the service and will benefit hunger relief efforts.
* To register to attend the 2013 Iowa Hunger Summit or for more information visit the Iowa Hunger Summit website.