KC Healthy Kids and our partners have been invited to take part in a fact-based, civil discussion about food insecurity with American Public Square. We’ll discuss the issue, its causes, and ways we can help.
When a person or family is food insecure, they don’t have reliable access to affordable, healthy food. So food insecurity directly affects many broader health, social, and economic issues. In 2015, an estimated 1 in 8 Americans were considered food insecure. Closer to home, 17.9% of Jackson County residents are effected.
How can we ensure reliable access to affordable, healthy, fresh food?
KC Healthy Kids’ president, Gretchen Kunkel will moderate a panel discussion about these issues and possible ways to alleviate food insecurity in Kansas City and beyond.
The panel will include three valued partners of our Greater Kansas City Food Policy Coalition: Mary Hendrickson and Beau Heyen and Valerie Nicholson-Watson.
Mary is assistant professor of rural sociology at University of Missouri and was instrumental in creating the food policy coalition. We regularly turn to her for her expertise on the implications of agriculture and policies that shape our food system.
Beau is president and CEO of NourishKC, formerly Episcopal Community Services. NourishKC is a partner in KC Healthy Kids’ Carrot Gold program, and Beau serves on the steering committee of the food policy coalition.
Valerie is been president and CEO of Harvesters. The regional food bank has been a longtime partner of KC Healthy Kids and the food policy coalition and often partners with us on policy initiatives to protect food assistance programs like SNAP and WIC.
Gretchen has more than 20 years of experience addressing health care, public health and children’s health issues through advocacy, research, business development and strategic planning. She serves on a number of regional, statewide and national organizations and coalitions addressing adult and childhood obesity, community development, food system and food insecurity issues.
A fourth panelist, Lillian MacNell is assistant professor of public health at Campbell University in North Carolina. In her research, she explores how people navigate their food environments and experience poor food access. She is especially interested in the experiences of women and those in rural communities.
We hope you’ll come get to know our panel and get some insight into the problem of food insecurity.
About American Public Square
American Public Square is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that seeks to change the tone and quality of public discourse. The agency organizes programs about community, health, education, civics and faith. At their dinners, conversations and meetings, panelists with opposing views engage with each other and the audience in civil discussion. If the tone of the conversation veers from civility, our audience members are there to ring the “civility bell,” which reminds everyone to take a deep breath and work together toward real, effective solutions to the issues at hand.