January 2015

Summit Looks at Food as Medicine: The Intersection of Hunger and Health

New Data to be Released Revealing Decline in Local ‘Meal Gap’


What:     The seventh annual Hunger Action Summit, titled “Food as Medicine: The Intersection of Hunger and Health,” will focus on the hidden ways that food scarcity harms the community. Access to nutritious food plays a critical role in health. Studies show that a healthy diet can help to prevent – as well as support the successful treatment of – a number of chronic diseases like diabetes and cancer. Food is more than just fuel; it can also be medicine. The day will include some provocative discussions around hunger and diet-fueled health disparities as well as new ways to improve health through collaborative efforts between anti-hunger advocates and healthcare providers.

    Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and Santa Clara University will also release new data that shows a slight decline in the local “meal gap.” S. Andrew Starbird, dean of Santa Clara University's Leavey School of Business, will present new findings from the annual Hunger Index.

When:        Friday, January 30, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Where:    Paul L. Locatelli, S.J., Student Activities Center, Santa Clara University
        500 El Camino Real, Santa Clara, 95053

Who:    The Hunger Action Summit is organized by Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties and sponsored by Santa Clara University’s Leavey School of Business and its Food and Agribusiness Institute.

 At the event, Robert Greenwald, director of the Center for Health Law Policy Innovation at the Harvard Law School, will discuss the new report “Food Is Medicine” and highlight exciting opportunities the Affordable Care Act can provide. Dr. Lisa Chamberlain, associate professor of Pediatrics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, and Dr. Rhea Boyd, pediatrician at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, will talk about the impact of nutrition on kids. But how can you tell if a child is hungry? Looks alone don’t tell the story. That’s the message behind a fascinating new photo exhibit on childhood hunger that will be on display at the summit. Hilary Seligman, associate professor of Medicine, Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of California, San Francisco, will discuss the link between food insecurity and chronic diseases as well as community-based approaches for managing disease. Kathy Jackson, CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank, will explore the changing role of food banks in driving community health outcomes. Courtney Robinson, graduate research assistant at the Food and Agribusiness Institute, will discuss findings from her multi-year research project on the “Cost of a Healthy Meal.” Cindy McCown, vice president of Programs and Services at Second Harvest Food Bank, will discuss ways local leaders, community members, food-assistance organizations, healthcare providers, and others can take action to improve health.

        A complete agenda is available at Eventbrite.

   The Hunger Action Summit is designed to spark conversation and inspire action to end local hunger.

Media Contacts:

Deborah Lohse | SCU Media Relations | dlohse@scu.edu | 408-768-6898 cell
Caitlin Kerk | Second Harvest Food Bank | ckerk@shfb.org | 408-858-9208 cell