On Wednesday, September 7, 2022, members of our staff attended the Hunger Action Symposium hosted by Maryland Food Bank We heard from MD Food Bank President & CEO Carmen Del Guercio, Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, Meg Kimmel, Senior Vice President of Programs, Nekeisia Booyer, & the CEO of Feeding America Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. Dr. Katie Martin, author of the new book, Reinventing Food Banks & Pantries, also addressed the crowd with an enlightening presentation.
While there we also took the chance to network with the many Black churches that were represented in the crowd. African American congregations have long been among those that have food ministries designed to get food to those in need.
After the conference, members of our staff experienced another special treat. We linked up with national organizer, writer, & cofounder of National Black Food & Justice Alliance, Dara Cooper!
We are excited by the possibilities that partnership with food banks and food pantries present. While conventionally, these entities have been operating using a charity model, many of them are now considering ways to transition their organizations into ones that do more to address root causes of hunger and poverty. It is not enough to give food to someone who needs it. We must come alongside communities to explore why there is hunger in the first place and then cultivate our collective power to build new food systems that we control.