More than 400 Iowans interested and involved in fighting hunger will unite for the Iowa Hunger Summit on Tuesday, October 13. The event will focus on the contributions of Iowans to combat hunger in Iowa and around the world, and offer an Iowa-centric perspective on domestic and international hunger issues.
Guests of the event's noon Hunger Luncheon will be served one of four meals used by Iowa-based programs in their international or domestic hunger alleviating work. The luncheon's keynote address will be delivered by Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of America's largest hunger-fighting charity, an organization called "Feeding America."
The Iowa Hunger Summit is free and open to the public. Registration is available at www.iowahungersummit.org.
Recognize Iowans' contributions to fight against hunger
Event organizers will also announce during the lunch Iowa's total annual statewide contribution to the cause of fighting domestic and international hunger. Last year's totals stated that in 2007-2008, Iowans donated $6.49 million, more than 17.2 million pounds of food, and more than 438,000 volunteer hours to the fight against hunger.
Conversely, recent studies indicate that 351,000 Iowans experience "low food security" – the occasional or recurrent lack of adequate safe and nutritious food. Hunger and poverty claim 25,000 lives every day around the globe; 16,000 of these are children.
The Iowa Hunger Summit was created three years ago by the World Food Prize Foundation to promote local hunger-fighting efforts and to connect Iowans to both United Nations World Food Day and Dr. Norman E. Borlaug/World Food Prize Day in Iowa, which is celebrated October 16. Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Iowan Dr. Norman E. Borlaug saved an estimated 1 billion people from starvation through his lifetime of work in agriculture. Dr. Borlaug, who founded the World Food Prize, recently passed away on September 12, 2009.
Learn how you can help fight hunger at October 13 sessions
One purpose of the Iowa Hunger Summit to be held on October 13 is to share ideas on how people can become involved in the fight against hunger.
"Iowa has a long history of helping those in need," says Ken Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation. "Communities have pulled together to ensure that our food banks can support families in need due to natural disasters or the impact of the economic crisis. The Iowa Hunger Summit shines a light on the serious issue of hunger in our state, around the country and across the globe and highlights the various efforts of Iowans to combat these problems."
Sessions on hunger-related issues are planned throughout the day at the October 13 Hunger Summit, beginning at 9 a.m. with a session on the interfaith response to hunger in local communities hosted by event co-sponsor, the Des Moines Area Religious Council. The Community Food Security Coalition will then organize a session on food security and urban agriculture.
Native American perspectives on agriculture, nutrition and health will be presented in a session led by the Harvest Initiative. Following the luncheon, Doctors Without Borders will host a session on the global epidemic of childhood malnutrition. The final event of the day will be a workshop entitled "Iowa Feeding the World" with the Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.
This event is sponsored by the World Food Prize Foundation
The World Food Prize was founded in 1986 by Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, recipient of the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Since then, The World Food Prize has honored outstanding individuals who have made vital contributions to improving the quality, quantity or availability of food throughout the world. Previous Laureates have been recognized from Bangladesh, Brazil, China, Denmark, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Sierra Leone, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and the United States.
In 1990, Des Moines businessman and philanthropist John Ruan assumed sponsorship of The Prize and established The World Food Prize Foundation, located in Des Moines, Iowa. More information on the World Food Prize is at www.worldfoodprize.org.