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Food & Agribusiness Institute

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FAI Continues to Fund Hunger Research

On September 10, 2009, the Food and Agribusiness Institute hosted the Hunger Issues Forum for Santa Clara County once again.  Approximately 125 attendees gained a better understanding of how childhood hunger affects our economy while learning about public policy opportunities and how to take action on hunger issues.  The event was held in Lucas Hall in the Forbes Family Conference Room.

The Food and Agribusiness Institute funds Dr. S. Andrew Starbird’s Hunger Index research, completed in collaboration with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties. 

The Hunger Index was developed to measure hunger for the most food insecure households within specific counties.  Food assistance provided in both counties has increased in 2008, but not faster than the rise in unmet food needs.  The Hunger Index also calculates the number of meals that are provided by various food assistance organizations and programs: SFHB, Children and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP), Meals on Wheels, School Meals Program, Senior Nutrition, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as the food stamps program), and Woman Infant and Children (WIC).  The county food assistance programs provided 90 million meals in 2008 in Santa Clara County and 23 million meals in San Mateo County. 

The Food and Agribusiness Institute hopes to expand the Hunger Index research to include all Bay Area counties in the coming years.

Dr. Starbird presented the Hunger Index findings at both the Santa Clara and the San Mateo Hunger Issues Forums.  In addition to his presentation, the following speakers were featured at the Santa Clara Hunger Issues Forum.
Speakers included:

Dr. John Cook with the Boston Medical Center and the Boston University School of Medicine. Dr. Cook explained findings from his recently released report Child Food Insecurity: The Economic Impact on Our Nation.

Dr. Ed Cooney, CEO of the Congressional Hunger Center in Washington D.C. Dr. Cooney addressed how we can influence system changes to achieve President Obama's commitment to end domestic childhood hunger by 2015.

Dr. Drew Starbird, acting Dean of Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business. Dr. Starbird explained what the unmet food needs look like for Santa Clara County residents.

Dr. Daniel Delgado, pediatrician at the Pediatric Healthy Lifestyles Center at the Santa Clara County Health and Hospital System. Dr. Delgado shared what is happening locally to improve children’s lifestyles.

Watch Dr. Starbird present at the San Mateo Hunger Issues Forum

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