Chobani LLC said it will host a groundbreaking Child Hunger Summit on Tuesday, Feb. 23, bringing together leaders from the nonprofit, private and public sectors who are pushing for stronger public policies and creating meaningful private partnerships to help millions of children and families in need.
The pandemic has pushed America's child hunger crisis to near-epidemic levels, the Norwich, N.Y.-based producer of Greek yogurt and other products noted. Food insecurity for families with children has more than tripled since it began. As a result of the pandemic, a projected 17 million kids — nearly one in four children in the United States — might not know where they will get their next meal. Black and Latino households with children have suffered disproportionately from food insecurity throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Chobani said, citing “The Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey,” Weeks 6-12 (June 4-July 21, 2020).
Chobani said it has long championed its belief that access to nutritious food should be a right, not a privilege. That's why it is organizing a conference on child hunger to generate additional momentum for action and progress. The conference follows Chobani's work to advocate for stronger safety nets for food-insecure Americans, especially children — work that began prior to the pandemic and has taken on new urgency as COVID-19 and the economic downturn highlight immense need.
"Ending child hunger isn't a choice, it's a responsibility," said Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani. "Our goal is to unite businesses, policymakers and child hunger advocates to take urgent action to address this heartbreaking epidemic. It is essential we do everything we can to ensure all children and their families have access to the food they need. We won't rest until we end child hunger in America."
Some of the event’s speakers will include:
- Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO, Chobani.
- Peter McGuinness, president and chief operating officer, Chobani.
- Luis Guardia, president, Food Research & Action Center (FRAC).
- Katie Fitzgerald, chief operating officer and executive vice president, Feeding America.
- Gina Crista Cummings, vice president of advocacy, alliances and policy, Oxfam America.
- Dr. Marjorie Innocent, director of learning and impact, NAACP.
- Steven T. Lopez, senior director, healthy policy, UnidosUS.
- Cyanne Lujan, director of advancement, Notah Bejay III (NB3) Foundation.
- Reginald Ross, president, School Nutrition Association.
- Tamara Sandberg, U.S. food security and nutrition advisor, Save the Children.
- Congressman Mike Simpson (R-Idaho).
- Karen Vauk, president and CEO, The Idaho Foodbank.
Confirmed events, Chobani said, include:
- A keynote conversation featuring national leaders from the private and nonprofit sector discussing key areas for greater collaboration, as well as critical policy changes that federal, state and local governments must make.
- A discussion by experts about the massive challenges schools, food banks and nonprofits across the country are facing to reliably provide nutritious food to children and families in need.
- A discussion by experts about how systemic racism in America both creates and exacerbates food insecurity and what must be done to address it.
- A discussion by experts about the unique challenges that rural communities, farm families, and others are facing in Idaho, the importance of protecting our nation's food supply, and passing bipartisan immigration reform.
To register for free and learn more about the Child Hunger Summit, visit https://www.chobanichildhungersummit.com.