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  •  Food Security to be Examined September 28

    Thursday, Sep. 20, 2012 12:00 PM

    Even in wealthy Santa Clara County, the number of hungry people is growing, with the problem becoming more widespread. How can Silicon Valley’s community partners take action to connect new and existing hungry families with nutritious food where they live, learn, work, and play? The stakes are high for our community, particularly with reauthorization of the Farm Bill.

    These issues will be addressed at the fifth annual Santa Clara County Hunger Forum titled “It’s Complicated: Hunger in Our Community,” on Friday, September 28, on the Santa Clara University campus.

    The Hunger Forum is organized by Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and sponsored by Santa Clara University’s Food and Agribusiness Institute and Leavey School of Business. At the event, the dean of Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business, S. Andrew Starbird, will update the Hunger Index, which measures the gap between the need for food and the ability of government agencies and food-assistance organizations to provide it.

    Other event speakers include:

    *Keynote speaker Judi Larsen, program manager at the California Endowment, will talk about exciting changes that are happening with school-based feeding programs.

    *Second Harvest Food Bank CEO Kathy Jackson will speak about the Food Bank’s recent expansion and new business model.

    *USDA Western Regional Director Dennis Stewart will focus on ways to optimize federal nutrition programs.

    *Santa Clara County Social Services Agency DEBS Director Jan Picolorich will share new technology innovations that are connecting people to CalFresh and other services.

    *The Health Trust CEO Frederick Ferrer will talk about partnerships that have been forged to address the growing food needs of vulnerable populations.

    *Dannielle Campos, senior vice president and national philanthropy program manager for the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, will focus on the Corporate Coalition to End Hunger.

    *Sunnyvale Community Services Executive Director Marie Bernard will discuss ways her agency is increasing access to nutritious food for their clients.

    *Santa Clara University students Courtney Robinson, Lisa McMonagle, and Mahbod Parvar will present findings from their Cost of a Healthy Meal study.

    *Cindy McCown, senior director of Programs and Services at Second Harvest Food Bank, will talk about opportunities for taking action.

    Media Contacts:
    Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | | 408-768-6898 cell
    Caitlin Kerk | Second Harvest Food Bank | | 408-858-9208 cell



  •  Bay Area Chocolate-Startup Entrepreneur Shares "The Business of Chocolate" Feb. 16

    Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2012 12:23 PM

    The co-owner of a startup company that is one of the few small-batch “bean-to-bar” chocolate manufacturers in the Bay Area, will be the featured speaker Thursday, Feb. 16 at Santa Clara University’s Food and Agribusiness Institute.

    San Jose resident Todd Masonis of Dandelion Chocolate will share his story of creating a chocolate business in a friend’s East Palo Alto garage, using cacao beans from Madagascar, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Colombia and Bolivia.

    The event is entitled “The Business of Chocolate,” and is part of a regular quarterly series on the business of various food industries, presented by the Food and Agribusiness Institute at SCU’s Leavey School of Business.

    It will take place Feb. 16 from 5 to 5:30 p.m. at Lucas Hall, Room 126, Santa Clara University campus, 500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, CA 95053. Following the talk, there will be a tasting of Dandelion Chocolate products.

    Masonis and his business partner Cameron Ring  sold their previous startup, Internet address book Plaxo, to Comcast in 2008. They opened production of Dandelion Chocolate in 2010, and are moving later this year to a new factory and café in San Francisco’s Mission District. Their team travels regularly to cocoa plants where the pods are grown and harvested for cacao beans, in an effort to ensure that the farmers use fair practices.

    Their product is currently for sale in more than a dozen outlets in California, Oregon, New York, Washington and Victoria, British Columbia.

    The event is co-sponsored by the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University's Leavey School of Business.

    About the Santa Clara University School of Business
    The Leavey School of Business at Santa Clara University began in 1923, and was one of the first business schools in the country to receive national accreditation. Its undergraduate business, MBA and Executive MBA programs are consistently ranked among the top in the nation by BusinessWeek, U.S. News, Princeton Review, and others. The curriculum at all levels emphasizes the leadership role of business in creating prosperity within an ethical framework, as well as business responsibilities for social justice and sustainability in the global marketplace. The School opened its $49 million building for undergraduate, graduate, and professional business education in Fall 2008. For more information, see

    Media Contact:
    Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | | 408-554-5121

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